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

  • Wendy Cunningham

    (World Bank)

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Wesleyan University)

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.

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File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/jjacobsen/2003001_jacobsen.pdf
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Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2003-001.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2003-001
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Web page: http://www.wesleyan.edu/econ/

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  1. François Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe G. Leite, 2002. "Beyond Oaxaca-Blinder : Accounting for Differences in Household Income Distributions Across Countries," DELTA Working Papers 2002-04, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
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