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Demographic Change and the Structure of Wages: A Demand-Theoretic Analysis for Brazil

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  • Ernesto F. L. Amaral
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh
  • Joseph E. Potter
  • Eduardo L.G. Rios-Neto

Abstract

With rapidly declining fertility and increased longevity the age structure of the labor force in developing countries has changed rapidly. Changing relative supply of workers by age group, and by educational attainment, can have profound effects on labor costs. Their impacts on earnings have been heavily studied in the United States but have received little attention in Asia and Latin America, where supply shocks are at least as large and have often proceeded less evenly across the economy. We use data on 502 local Brazilian labor markets from Censuses 1970-2000 to examine the extent of substitution among demographic groups as relative supply has changed. The results suggest that age-education groups are imperfect substitutes, so that larger age-education cohorts see depressed wage rates, particularly among more-educated groups. The extent of substitution has increased over time, so that the decreasing size of the least-skilled labor force today is barely raising its remaining members' wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Ernesto F. L. Amaral & Daniel S. Hamermesh & Joseph E. Potter & Eduardo L.G. Rios-Neto, 2007. "Demographic Change and the Structure of Wages: A Demand-Theoretic Analysis for Brazil," NBER Working Papers 13533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13533
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grant, James H & Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1981. "Labor Market Competition among Youths, White Women and Others," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(3), pages 354-360, August.
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    3. Gindling, T. H. & Robbins, Donald, 2001. "Patterns and Sources of Changing Wage Inequality in Chile and Costa Rica During Structural Adjustment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 725-745, April.
    4. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & Máximo Torero, 2000. "Labor Market Reforms and Their Impact on Formal Labor Demand and Job Market Turnover: The Case of Peru," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3269, Inter-American Development Bank.
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    6. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
    7. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 65-97, October.
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    10. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
    11. Jaime Saavedra & Mhmo Torero, 2004. "Labor Market Reforms and Their Impact over Formal Labor Demand and Job Market Turnover. The Case of Peru," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 131-182 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve is Downward Sloping: Reexamining the Impact of Immigration on the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 9755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1998. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1169-1213.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mardukhi, Jian, 2010. "The General Equilibrium Wage Impact of Trade-Induced Shifts in Industrial Compositions of Employment in Brazilian Cities, 1991-2000," MPRA Paper 25916, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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