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Earnings Inequality Within and Across Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Groups in Latin America

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  • Wendy Cunningham

    (World Bank)

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

Latin American countries are generally characterized as displaying high income 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), we demonstrate (using Theil index decompositions as well as Gini indices, and 90/10 and 50/10 percentile comparisons) that within-group inequality rather than betweengroup inequality is the main contributor to overall inequality. Mlti-stage simulations in which the relatively disadvantaged gender and/or racial/ethnic group is treated more and more as if it were the relatively advantaged group tend to reduce overall inequality measures only slightly and in some cases have the effect of increasing inequality measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy Cunningham & Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2003. "Earnings Inequality Within and Across Gender, Racial, and Ethnic Groups in Latin America," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2003-001, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2003-001
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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/jjacobsen/2003001_jacobsen.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fran??ois Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe G. Leite, 2002. "Beyond Oaxaca-Blinder: Accounting for Differences in Household Income Distributions Across Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 478, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thankom Arun & Vani Borooah & Shoba Arun, 2013. "Earnings inequality in sri lanka," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 47(1), pages 355-371, January-J.
    2. Lourdes Gallardo & Hugo Nopo, 2009. "Ethnic and Gender Wage Gaps in Ecuador," Research Department Publications 4625, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Stephanie Seguino, 2005. "All types of inequality are not created equal: divergent impacts of inequality on economic growth," Working Papers 10, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, revised Oct 2005.
    4. Juan Pablo Atal & Hugo Nopo & Natalia Winder, 2009. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4640, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. Thankom Arun & Vani K. Borooah, 2011. "The Gender impact in Earnings Inequality: Evidence from Sri Lanka," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), International Hellenic University (IHU), Kavala Campus, Greece (formerly Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology - EMaTTech), vol. 4(2), pages 71-80, August.
    6. World Bank, 2011. "Work and Family : Latin American and Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance [Trabajo & familia : mujeres de América Latina y el Caribe en busca de un nuevo equilibrio - Resumen ejecuivo (Vol. 2," World Bank Publications - Reports 12489, The World Bank Group.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    earnings inequality; income inequality; gender; race; and ethnicity differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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