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Earnings inequality within and across gender, racial, and ethnic groups in four Latin American Countries

Author

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  • Cunningham, Wendy
  • Jacobsen, Joyce P.

Abstract

Latin American countries are generally characterized as displaying highincome and earnings inequality overall along with high inequality by gender, race, and ethnicity. However, the latter phenomenon is not a major contributor to the former phenomenon. Using household survey data from four Latin American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, and Guyana) for which stratification by race or ethnicity is possible, this paper demonstrates (using Theil index decompositions as well as Gini indices, and 90/10 and 50/10 percentile comparisons) that within-group earnings inequality rather than between-group earnings inequality is the main contributor to overall earnings inequality. Simulations in which the relatively disadvantaged gender and/or racial/ethnic group is treated as if it were the relatively advantaged group tend to reduce overall earnings inequality measures only slightly and in some cases have the effect of increasing earnings inequality measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Cunningham, Wendy & Jacobsen, Joyce P., 2008. "Earnings inequality within and across gender, racial, and ethnic groups in four Latin American Countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4591, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4591
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Branko Milanovic & Carlos Gradín, 2016. "Race, Ethnicity, Immigration, and Living Conditions in Costa Rica," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62, pages 90-119, August.
    2. Luisa Fernanda Gamboa & Andrés García-Suaza & Jesús Otero, 2010. "Statistical Inference for Testing Gini Coefficients: An Application for Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 28(62), pages 226-238, June.
    3. World Bank, 2012. "A Gender (R)evolution in the Making? Expanding Women's Economic Opportunities in Central America : A Decade in Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12468, The World Bank.

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    Keywords

    Access to Finance; Gender and Development; Inequality; Gender and Law;

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