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Wage inequality in Latin America : understanding the past to prepare for the future

Author: Julián Messina; Joana Silva
Publisher: Washington, DC : World Bank Group, [2018] ©2018
Series: Latin American development forum.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
What caused the decline in wage inequality of the 2000s in Latin America? Looking to the future, will the current economic slowdown be regressive? This report addresses these two questions by reviewing relevant literature and providing new evidence on what we know from the conceptual, empirical, and policy perspectives. The answer to the first question can be broken down into several parts, although the bottom line  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Messina, Julián.
Wage inequality in Latin America : understanding the past to prepare for the future.
Washington, District of Columbia : World Bank Publications, ©2018
xxi, 203 pages
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Julián Messina; Joana Silva
ISBN: 9781464810404 1464810400
OCLC Number: 1018942870
Description: 1 online resource (xxi, 203 pages) : color illustrations
Contents: Machine generated contents note: ch. 1 Introduction --
Rationale --
Road Map of the Book --
Annex 1A Background Papers for This Book --
Notes --
References --
ch. 2 Wage inequality Changes since 1990: Key Trends and Stylized Facts --
Introduction --
Trends in Overall Inequality --
Trends in Wage Inequality --
Contribution of Skills and Education to the Changes in Overall Wage Inequality --
Contribution of Pay Differentials among Workers with Similar Skills to Overall Wage Inequality --
Labor Supply Trends: Rising Numbers of More-Educated Workers --
Macroeconomic Conditions and Labor Demand Shifts --
Labor Market of Skilled and Unskilled Workers and Differences across Tradable and Nontradable Sectors --
Informality and Wage Inequality --
Cross-Country Heterogeneity in Main Trends, and Correlations between Key Inequality-Related Indicators --
Conclusions --
Annex 2A Supplementary Wage and Income Inequality Figures --
Annex 2B Robustness of Returns to Skill to Different Estimation Methodologies --
Annex 2C Robustness of Employment and Skill-Use Growth in Tradable and Nontradable Industries to a Different Definition --
Annex 2D Country-by-Country Changes in Inequality-Related Indicators and Correlations between the Key Variables --
Annex 2E Supplementary Informality Figures and Correlations --
Notes --
References --
ch. 3 Role of Labor Supply in Wage Inequality Trends --
Introduction --
Skill Supply and Demand in the Determination of Relative Wages --
Falling Wages of Recent Cohorts of College-Educated Workers: Degraded Tertiary versus Skill Obsolescence --
Degraded Tertiary Effect --
Conclusions --
Notes --
References --
ch. 4 Role of Labor Demand Conditions in Wage Inequality Trends --
Introduction --
Shifts in Domestic Demand and Rising Wages for Unskilled Workers --
Exchange Rate Appreciation from the Commodity Boom and Interfirm Wage Differentials --
Why Skill-Biased Technological Change, Job Polarization, and Traditional Trade Channels Do Not Explain the Decline in Wage Inequality --
Conclusions --
Annex 4A Skill Intensities and Employment Expansion during the Commodity Boom in Selected Latin American Countries --
Annex 4B Why Exchange Rate Appreciation Should Reduce Wage Inequality within an Industry --
Notes --
References --
ch. 5 Exploring the Role of Minimum Wages and Unions in Recent Inequality Trends --
Introduction --
Role of the Minimum Wage --
Differentiated Effect of the Minimum Wage on Wage Inequality in Good and Bad Times --
Role of Unionization in Wage Inequality --
Conclusions --
Annex 5A Supplementary Minimum Wage Information --
Annex 5B Who Makes the Minimum Wage in Latin America? --
Notes --
References --
ch. 6 Conclusions and Policy Reflections --
Introduction --
Review of the Trends --
Causes of the Declines in Wage Inequality --
Shifting Wage Inequality Trends: The Remaining Challenges --
Looking to the Future: How Will the Drivers of Wage Inequality Evolve? --
Conclusions: How to Row against the Tide? --
Notes.
Series Title: Latin American development forum.
Responsibility: Julián Messina and Joana Silva.

Abstract:

What caused the decline in wage inequality of the 2000s in Latin America? Looking to the future, will the current economic slowdown be regressive? This report addresses these two questions by reviewing relevant literature and providing new evidence on what we know from the conceptual, empirical, and policy perspectives. The answer to the first question can be broken down into several parts, although the bottom line is that the changes in wage inequality resulted from a combination of three forces: (a) education expansion and its effect on falling returns to skill (the supply-side story); (b) shifts in aggregate domestic demand; and (c) exchange rate appreciation from the commodity boom and the associated shift to the nontradable sector that changed interfirm wage differences. Other forces had a non-negligible but secondary role in some countries, while they were not present in others. These include the rapid increase of the minimum wage and a rapid trend toward formalization of employment, which played a supporting role but only during the boom. Understanding the forces behind recent trends also helps to shed light on the second question. The analysis in this volume suggests that the economic slowdown is putting the brakes on the reduction of inequality in Latin America and will likely continue to do so-- but it might not actually reverse the region's movement toward less wage inequality.

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