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The rising wage inequality in Mexico, 1984-2000: A distributional analysis

  • Popli, Gurleen

In this paper we look at the distribution of wages to examine the extent and cause of the increasing wage inequality in Mexico over the last two decades (1984 to 2000). To understand the causes of the increase in inequality over time we do a counterfactual analysis. We find that over the last two decades not only did the inequality increase, there also was an erosion of real wages, and it's the middle class which was affected the most. Main reason for the decrease in real wages was the declining unionization in the country. While the main reason for the rise in inequality was the changing distribution of skills.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/399/1/MPRA_paper_399.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 399.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:399
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  1. Maloney, William F. & Nunez, Jairo & Cunningham, Wendy & Fiess, Norbert & Montenegro, Claudio & Murrugarra, Edmundo & Santamaria,Mauricio & Sepulveda, Claudia, 2001. "Measuring the impact of minimum wages : evidence from Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2597, The World Bank.
  2. David J. McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2006. "Do Entry Costs Provide an Empirical Basis for Poverty Traps? Evidence from Mexican Microenterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 3-42.
  3. Gordon H. Hanson, 2003. "What Has Happened to Wages in Mexico since NAFTA?," NBER Working Papers 9563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gordon H. Hanson & Ann Harrison, 1999. "Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 271-288, January.
  5. Chinhui Juhn & Jim Airola, 2005. "Wage Inequality in Post-Reform Mexico," Working Papers 2005-01, Department of Economics, University of Houston.
  6. David Fairris, 2003. "Unions and Wage Inequality in Mexico," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 481-497, April.
  7. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David Fairris, 2003. "Unions and wage inequality in Mexico," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(3), pages 481-497, April.
  9. Esquivel, Gerardo & Rodriguez-Lopez, Jose Antonio, 2003. "Technology, trade, and wage inequality in Mexico before and after NAFTA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 543-565, December.
  10. Katharine L. Bradbury, 1986. "The shrinking middle class," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Sep, pages 41-55.
  11. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  12. Joe C. Davis & John H. Huston, 1992. "The Shrinking Middle-Income Class: A Multivariate Analysis," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 277-285, Summer.
  13. Nora Lustig, 2001. "Life Is Not Easy: Mexico's Quest for Stability and Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(1), pages 85-106, Winter.
  14. Cameron, Lisa A., 2000. "Poverty and inequality in Java: examining the impact of the changing age, educational and industrial structure," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 149-180, June.
  15. Card, David, 1996. "The Effect of Unions on the Structure of Wages: A Longitudinal Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 957-79, July.
  16. Shorrocks, A F, 1982. "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 193-211, January.
  17. Thomas Lemieux, 2002. "Decomposing changes in wage distributions: a unified approach," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(4), pages 646-688, November.
  18. Fairris, David & Popli, Gurleen & Zepeda, Eduardo, 2006. "Minimum wages and wage structure in Mexico," MPRA Paper 400, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2006.
  19. Zadia M. Feliciano, 2001. "Workers and Trade Liberalization: The Impact of Trade Reforms in Mexico on Wages and Employment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, October.
  20. Revenga, Ana, 1997. "Employment and Wage Effects of Trade Liberalization: The Case of Mexican Manufacturing," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S20-43, July.
  21. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  22. Cragg, Michael Ian & Epelbaum, Mario, 1996. "Why has wage dispersion grown in Mexico? Is it the incidence of reforms or the growing demand for skills?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 99-116, October.
  23. Zadia M. Feliciano, 2001. "Workers and trade liberalization: The impact of trade reforms in Mexico on wages and employment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 95-115, October.
  24. Robinson, Sherman, 1976. "A Note on the U Hypothesis Relating Income Inequality and Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 437-40, June.
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