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Changes in Human Capital and Wage Inequality in Mexico

  • Gurleen K. Popli

    ()

    (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)

Over the last two decades Mexico has witnessed a significant increase in wage inequality, typically attributed to the increase in relative demand for skilled labor. Over this period the educational achievements and their distribution across the labor force have also changed substantially. In this paper we analyze the impact of changes in human capital on wage inequality in Mexico. We focus our analysis on decomposing (1) the level of inequality in any given year and (2) change in inequality over time, into observable (e.g. age, education, occupation, etc.) and unobservable differences across workers. The main findings of this paper are: unobservable factors (within group inequality) account for most of the inequality in any given year. Among the observable factors human capital emerges as the most important variables in explaining the level of, and changes in, inequality.

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File URL: http://www.shef.ac.uk/economics/research/serps/articles/2007_01.html
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Paper provided by The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2007001.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision: Jan 2007
Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2007001
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  1. 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.
  2. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  3. 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.
  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. David Fairris & Gurleen Popli & Eduardo Zepeda, 2008. "Minimum Wages and the Wage Structure in Mexico," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 66(2), pages 181-208.
  6. 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.
  7. Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1991. "School Repetition, Dropouts, and the Rates of Return to Schooling: The Case of Indonesia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(4), pages 467-80, November.
  8. Lerman, Robert I. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1989. "Improving the accuracy of estimates of Gini coefficients," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 43-47, September.
  9. Cortez, Willy W., 2001. "What is Behind Increasing Wage Inequality in Mexico?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1905-1922, November.
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