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Gender wage differentials in Brazil : trends over a turbulent era


  • G. Reza Arabsheibani
  • Francisco Galrao Carneiro
  • Andrew Henley


Since the late 1980s, macroeconomic and trade reform in Brazil appears to have been accompanied by a substantial improvement in the position of women compared with men in the labor market, despite only modest changes to labor market institutions. The authors examine movements in the gender wage gap from 1988 to 1998. Their findings indicate that, over this period, the gender wage gap fell mainly because of reduced discrimination against women. But the authors find evidence to suggest that, more recently, since the elimination of high inflation, human capital investments and other earnings-related enhancements have begun to improve women's condition.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Reza Arabsheibani & Francisco Galrao Carneiro & Andrew Henley, 2003. "Gender wage differentials in Brazil : trends over a turbulent era," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3148, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3148

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lee, Kiong-Hock, 1980. "Screening, ability, and the productivity of education in Malaysia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 189-193.
    2. Lam, David & Levison, Deborah, 1991. "Declining inequality in schooling in Brazil and its effects on inequality in earnings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 199-225, November.
    3. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    4. Francisco Carneiro & Andrew Henley, 1998. "Wage determination in Brazil: The growth of union bargaining power and informal employment," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 117-138.
    5. Psacharopoulos, George, 1979. "On the weak versus the strong version of the screening hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 181-185.
    6. Carneiro, Francisco G., 1998. "Productivity effects in brazilian wage determination," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 139-153, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luana Marquez Garcia & Paola Salardi & Hugo R. Ñopo, 2009. "Gender and Racial Wage Gaps in Brazil 1996-2006: Evidence Using a Matching Comparisons Approach," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1649, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
    3. Rendall, Michelle, 2013. "Structural Change in Developing Countries: Has it Decreased Gender Inequality?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Stephanie Seguino & Caren Grown, 2006. "Gender equity and globalization: macroeconomic policy for developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 1081-1104.
    5. Monsueto, Sandro Eduardo & Braz Golgher, André & Machado, Ana Flávia, 2006. "Earning inequalities in Brazil: quantile regressions and the decomposition approach," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    6. Juan Pablo Atal & Hugo R. Ñopo & Natalia Winder, 2009. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1131, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Ben Yahmed, Sarra, 2016. "Formal but less equal: Gender wage gaps in formal and informal jobs in Brazil," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-085, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.


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