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Trade liberalization, employment flows, and wage inequality in Brazil

  • Ferreira, Francisco H. G.
  • Leite, Phillippe G.
  • Wai-Poi, Matthew

Using nationally representative, economywide data, this paper investigates the relative importance of trade-mandated effects on industry wage premia; industry and economywide skill premia; and employment flows in accounting for changes in the wage distribution in Brazil during the 1988-95 trade liberalization. Unlike in other Latin American countries, trade liberalization appears to have made a significant contribution toward a reduction in wage inequality. These effects have not occurred through changes in industry-specific (wage or skill) premia. Instead, they appear to have been channeled through substantial employment flows across sectors and formality categories. Changes in the economywide skill premium are also important.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4108.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4108
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  1. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2004. "Gainers and losers from trade reform in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3368, The World Bank.
  3. 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.
  4. Nina Pavcnik & Andreas Blom & Pinelopi Goldberg & Norbert Schady, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Industry Wage Structure: Evidence from Brazil," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(3), pages 319-344.
  5. Verhoogen, Eric A, 2007. "Trade, Quality Upgrading and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 6385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Gustavo Gonzaga & Naércio Menezes Filho & Cristina Terra, 2006. "Trade Liberalization and the Evolution of Skill Earnings Differentials in Brazil," Development Working Papers 216, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  7. 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.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 2001. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2666, The World Bank.
  9. Francois Bourguignon & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Nora Lusting, 2005. "The Microeconomics of Income Distribution Dynamics in East Asia and Latin America," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14844.
  10. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & JosÈ Luiz Rossi, 2003. "New Evidence from Brazil on Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1383-1405, November.
  11. Beyer, Harald & Rojas, Patricio & Vergara, Rodrigo, 1999. "Trade liberalization and wage inequality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 103-123, June.
  12. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  13. Reint Gropp & Liam P. Ebrill & Janet Gale Stotsky, 1999. "Revenue Implications of Trade Liberalization," IMF Occasional Papers 180, International Monetary Fund.
  14. Wood, Adrian, 1997. "Openness and Wage Inequality in Developing Countries: The Latin American Challenge to East Asian Conventional Wisdom," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 33-57, January.
  15. Linda S. Goldberg, 2004. "Industry-specific exchange rates for the United States," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 1-16.
  16. Thoenig, Mathias & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "A Theory of Defensive Skill-based Innovation and Globalization," CEPR Discussion Papers 3416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2001. "Trade Protection and Wages: Evidence from the Colombian Trade Reforms," NBER Working Papers 8575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Harrison, Ann & Hanson, Gordon, 1999. "Who gains from trade reform? Some remaining puzzles," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 125-154, June.
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