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Activities, employment, and wages in rural and semi-urban Mexico

  • Verner, Dorte

The author addresses the labor markets in rural and semi-urban Mexico. The empirical analyses show that non-farm income shares increase with overall consumption levels and, also, with time. Rural-dwellers in lower quintiles of the consumption distribution tend to earn a larger share of their nonagricultural incomes from wage labor activities. For the poorest, low-productivity wage labor activities are important. The quantile wage regression analysis for rural Mexico shows a rather heterogeneous impact pattern of individual characteristics across the wage distribution on monthly wages. The author's findings reveal that education is key to earning higher wages, and that workers in more dispersed rural areas earn less than their peers in semi-urban rural areas (localities with less than 15,000 inhabitants). The rural non-farm sector is heterogeneous and includes a great variety of activities and productivity levels across non-farm jobs. Moreover it can reduce poverty in a couple of distinct but qualitatively important ways in rural Mexico. The analysis of non-farm employment in rural Mexico suggests that the two key determinants of access to employment and productivity in non-farm activities are education and location.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3561.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3561
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  1. Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & de Janvry, Alain, 2002. "Measuring the Poverty Reduction Potential of Land in Rural Mexico," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt6xg1q0dg, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Omar Arias & Kevin F. Hallock & Walter Sosa Escudero, 1999. "Individual Heterogeneity in the Returns to Schooling: Instrumental Variables Quantile Regression using Twins Data," Department of Economics, Working Papers 016, Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  4. Maloney, William F. & Pontual Ribeiro, Eduardo, 1999. "Efficiency wage and union effects in labor demand and wage structure in Mexico - An application of quantile analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2131, The World Bank.
  5. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, October.
  8. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  9. 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.
  10. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  11. J. Edward Taylor & Antonio Yunez-Naude, 2000. "The Returns from Schooling in a Diversified Rural Economy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 287-297.
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