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Earnings Mobility in Times of Growth and Decline: Argentina from 1996 to 2003

  • Fields, Gary S.
  • Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura

In recent years, the economy of Argentina has experienced both rapid economic growth and severe economic decline. In this paper, we use a series of one-year long panels to study who gained the most in pesos when the economy grew and who lost the most in pesos when the economy contracted. To answer these questions, we test two hypotheses both unconditionally and conditionally. The ?divergence of earnings? hypothesis holds that in any given year, the highest earning individuals are those who experienced the largest earnings gains or the smallest earnings losses in pesos. The ?symmetry of gains and losses? hypothesis holds that those groups that gained the most in pesos when the economy grew are those that lost the most in pesos when the economy contracted. Both hypotheses are decisively rejected in the data. Rather, we find that it is the lowest income individuals and groups who gain the most in pesos, whether in good times or in bad. Thus, the panel data analysis performed in this paper presents a picture of economic growth that is much more pro-poor than one gets from cross sectional inequality comparisons.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2008/rp2008-06.pdf
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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2008/06.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-06
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  1. Quentin Wodon, 2001. "Income mobility and risk during the business cycle: Comparing adjustments in labour markets in two Latin-American countries," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(2), pages 449-461, July.
  2. Gary Fields & Paul Cichello & Samuel Freije & Marta Menendez & David Newhouse, 2003. "Household income dynamics: a four-country story," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 30-54.
  3. Gabriela Inchauste & Ana Corbacho & Mercedes Garcia-Escribano, 2003. "Argentina; Macroeconomic Crisis and Household Vulnerability," IMF Working Papers 03/89, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
  5. McKenzie, David J, 2004. "Aggregate Shocks and Urban Labor Market Responses: Evidence from Argentina's Financial Crisis," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 719-58, July.
  6. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
  7. Fields, Gary S. & Duval Hernández, Robert & Freije-Rodriguez, Samuel & Sanchez Puerta, Maria Laura, 2007. "Earnings Mobility in Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela: Testing the Divergence of Earnings and the Symmetry of Mobility Hypotheses," IZA Discussion Papers 3184, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  9. Michael Grimm, 2007. "Removing the anonymity axiom in assessing pro-poor growth," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 179-197, August.
  10. George E. Johnson, 1997. "Changes in Earnings Inequality: The Role of Demand Shifts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 41-54, Spring.
  11. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  12. Gary S. Field & Robert Duval Hernandez & Samuel Freije & Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta, 2007. "Intragenerational Income Mobility in Latin America," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  13. Robert H. Topel, 1997. "Factor Proportions and Relative Wages: The Supply-Side Determinants of Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 55-74, Spring.
  14. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  15. Guillermo Cruces & Quentin Wodon, 2003. "Risk-adjusted poverty in Argentina: measurement and determinants," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6550, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  16. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
  17. Leonardo Gasparini & Walter Sosa, 2001. "Assessing Aggregate Welfare: Growth and Inequality in Argentina," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 38(113), pages 49-71.
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