Wage Inequality in Colombia 1984-2005: Changes in the Labor Maket Composition and Returns of the Post-secondary Education [Desigualdad salarial en Colombia 1984-2005: Cambios en la composición del mercado laboral y retornos a la educación postsecundaria]

Publicado en

  • Desarrollo y Sociedad


  • The period 1984-2005 was characterized by a substantial increase in wage inequality, which was deeper after 1995 and higher in the group of the most skilled workers. Also, after 1995 the labor market showed a significant growth of the working population with post-secondary education. This paper presents new alternatives for the analysis of wage inequality in Colombia. We used a decomposition method for inequality based on an estimate of conditional income distribution using the Quantile Regression method, which is a method that decomposes the changes on the distribution in three factors: characteristics, coefficients and residuals. Finally, our methodology addresses some of the shortcomings of the original method of decomposition of Juhn, Murphy and Pierce (1993), which has been used widely in the analysis of the Colombian case. Our results show that growth in inequality depends mainly on changes in the distribution of characteristics of employees for the period 1984-2005. This result is different from the issues raised by some previous studies, which showed that growth in inequality depends crucially on the residuals -particularly those studies that applied the jmp methodology-. In addition, using coefficients estimated by Quantile Regressions method, we show that the returns of post-secondary education have a major role in explaining the growth of inequality within the group of the most educated, particularly by a drop in the return in the lower distribution (50/10)for the period 1995-2005.

fecha de publicación

  • 2011

Líneas de investigación

  • Income Decomposition
  • Quantile Regression
  • Returns to Education
  • Wage Inequality

Página inicial

  • 65

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