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Full-Text Articles in Labor Relations

¿La Migración Causa Desigualdad De Ingresos?, Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny May 2018

¿La Migración Causa Desigualdad De Ingresos?, Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny

Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center Research

La desigualdad ha aumentado en décadas recientes a lo largo del mundo. Latinoamérica ha sido una excepción a lo que, por lo demás, parece ser la tendencia prevalente en los Estados Unidos, Europa y Asia. En los Estados Unidos, la acentuación de la desigualdad desde los años 1970 ha coincidido con el aumento de la migración mexicana. En México, la desigualdad ha disminuido desde mediados de la década 1990, periodo durante el que la emigración a los Estados Unidos se elevó, primero a niveles nunca antes visto, para luego declinar de manera abrupta.

Nuestra revisión bibliográfica sugiere que la inmigración ...


Does Migration Cause Income Inequality?, Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny May 2018

Does Migration Cause Income Inequality?, Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny

Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center Research

Inequality has been rising across the world in recent decades. Latin America has been an exception to what otherwise seems to be the prevalent trend in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In the U.S. the rise in inequality since the 1970s has coincided with the rise in Mexican immigration. In Mexico, inequality has been declining since the mid-1990s, a period during which emigration to the U.S. first increased to historic highs and then declined steeply.

Our review of the literature suggests that low-skilled immigration to the U.S., much of it from Mexico, has only played a ...


The Meaning And Measurement Of Income Mobility, Gary S. Fields, Efe A. Ok Nov 2016

The Meaning And Measurement Of Income Mobility, Gary S. Fields, Efe A. Ok

Gary S Fields

Income mobility may be seen as arising from two sources: (i) the transfer of income among individuals with total income held constant, and (ii) a change in the total amount of income available. In this paper, we propose several sensible properties defining the concept of income mobility and show that an easily applicable measure of mobility is uniquely implied by these properties. We also show that the resulting measure is additively decomposable into the two sources listed above, namely, mobility due to the transfer of income within a given structure and mobility due to economic growth or contraction. Finally, these ...


Income-Generating Functions In A Low Income Country: Colombia, Gary S. Fields, T. Paul Schultz Nov 2016

Income-Generating Functions In A Low Income Country: Colombia, Gary S. Fields, T. Paul Schultz

Gary S Fields

Income generating functions are statistical tools used to explain income inequality and other economic outcomes and behavior. These functions are often associated with a strict human capital framework, but they need not be. Instead, they may be viewed as a reduced form equation summarizing the relationship between income and various personal and locational characteristics. Following this latter interpretation, we develop the regression and analysis of variance approaches to income generating functions and estimate them empirically using micro-economic data from one low income country, Colombia. Proceeding to increasingly parsimonious specifications of income generating functions, insights are gained into the structure of ...


Employment, Income Distribution And Economic Growth In Seven Small Open Economies, Gary S. Fields Nov 2016

Employment, Income Distribution And Economic Growth In Seven Small Open Economies, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] Resurgent interest has been manifested among development economists in trickle-down, i.e., the view that the more rapid the rate of economic growth, the more rapid the improvement in employment and income distribution. Throughout this paper, the term ‘income distribution’ will refer to the location and dispersion of the pattern of incomes, i.e., to ‘absolute incomes and poverty’ and to ‘relative income inequality’. Empirical evidence supports trickle-down in some cases, but the evidence is contrary to trickle-down in others.

These data indicate:

  1. A high rate of economic growth is neither necessary nor sufficient for inequality to decline.
  2. A ...


Income Distribution And Economic Growth, Gary S. Fields Nov 2016

Income Distribution And Economic Growth, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] Who benefits how much from economic growth and why? This question is fundamental to today’s development economics. This chapter reviews some of the major lessons learned and major directions for future research in the study of income distribution and economic development.


Employment And Economic Growth In Costa Rica, Gary S. Fields Nov 2016

Employment And Economic Growth In Costa Rica, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

Costa Rica’s economic growth in the last 25 years has had favorable labor market and income distribution consequences. Overall, employment growth kept pace with labor force growth, the mix of jobs improved, real wages rose, and relative inequality and absolute poverty fell. But during the economic crisis of 1980-82, when real per capita income plummeted, labor market conditions deteriorated markedly: unemployment doubled, employment composition worsened, and real wages fell by 40%. Growth, labor market conditions, and income distribution have moved together.


Estimating Compensating Wage Differentials With Endogenous Job Mobility, Kurt Lavetti, Ian M. Schmutte Aug 2016

Estimating Compensating Wage Differentials With Endogenous Job Mobility, Kurt Lavetti, Ian M. Schmutte

Labor Dynamics Institute

We demonstrate a strategy for using matched employer-employee data to correct endogenous job mobility bias when estimating compensating wage differentials. Applied to fatality rates in the census of formal-sector jobs in Brazil between 2003-2010, we show why common approaches to eliminating ability bias can greatly amplify endogenous job mobility bias. By extending the search-theoretic hedonic wage framework, we establish conditions necessary to interpret our estimates as preferences. We present empirical analyses supporting the predictions of the model and identifying conditions, demonstrating that the standard models are misspecified, and that our proposed model eliminates latent ability and endogenous mobility biases


Earnings Mobility In Times Of Growth And Decline: Argentina From 1996 To 2003, Gary S. Fields, María Laura Sánchez Puerta Jul 2016

Earnings Mobility In Times Of Growth And Decline: Argentina From 1996 To 2003, Gary S. Fields, María Laura Sánchez Puerta

Gary S Fields

In recent years, the economy of Argentina has experienced both rapid economic growth and severe economic decline. In this paper, we use a series of one-year long panels to study who gained the most in pesos when the economy grew and who lost the most in pesos when the economy contracted. Various considerations led us to expect that mobility would be divergent—that is, that the individuals who started with the highest initial earnings would enjoy the largest earnings gains in pesos. Contrary to expectations and for a wide range of specifications, mobility is found to be mostly convergent, sometimes ...


Self-Employment And Poverty In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields Jul 2016

Self-Employment And Poverty In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

A key way for the world’s poor—nearly half of humanity—to escape poverty is to earn more for their labor. Most of the world’s poor people are self-employed, but because there are few opportunities in most developing countries for them to earn enough to escape poverty, they are working hard but working poor. Two key policy planks in the fight against poverty should be: raising the returns to self-employment and creating more opportunities to move from self-employment into higher paying wage employment.


Income Mobility: Concepts And Measures, Gary S. Fields Jul 2016

Income Mobility: Concepts And Measures, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

People’s economic positions may change for a variety of reasons. The economy in which they participate may improve or deteriorate because of macroeconomic growth or contraction, employer-specific events and circumstances, business expansions and contractions, and ups and downs in local communities. Individuals may experience major life events with important economic consequences, among them completion of schooling, promotions and other movements up the career ladder, marriage and divorce, poor health, and retirement. Economic mobility studies are concerned with quantifying the movement of given recipient units through the distribution of economic well-being over time, establishing how dependent ones current economic position ...


Challenges And Policy Lessons For The Growth-Employment-Poverty Nexus In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields Jul 2016

Challenges And Policy Lessons For The Growth-Employment-Poverty Nexus In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

Productivity growth and structural change are generally considered to be important determinants of economic growth. However recent research revealed that they do not necessarily lead to higher growth and employment rates. Recent studies, drawing on data from developing countries, showed that only the “right” kind of productivity growth resulted in higher employment rates. Enterprises in Africa and Latin America caught up in matters of technology; however, this process resulted in a substitution of employment by technology. The same is true for structural change; only the “right” kind of structural change caused more growth and employment. Whereas in Asia, labour shifted ...


Are African Workers Getting Ahead In The New South Africa? Evidence From Kwazulu-Natal, 1993-1998, Paul L. Cichello, Gary S. Fields, Murray Leibbrandt Jul 2016

Are African Workers Getting Ahead In The New South Africa? Evidence From Kwazulu-Natal, 1993-1998, Paul L. Cichello, Gary S. Fields, Murray Leibbrandt

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] In this paper, we use the KIDS panel data to answer three questions about the ‘progress’ of African workers in this one province in post-apartheid South Africa. First, how have African workers progressed as a group? Secondly, which African workers have progressed the most, and by how much have they progressed? Thirdly, to what extent is the progress made by workers driven by transitions between employment and unemployment, or between informal and formal sector employment? We reach the following major findings. First, African workers in KwaZulu-Natal had quite diverse experiences, but experienced positive progress on average. Second, those who ...


Earnings Mobility, Inequality, And Economic Growth In Argentina, Mexico, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Robert Duval-Hernandez, Samuel Freije, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta Jul 2016

Earnings Mobility, Inequality, And Economic Growth In Argentina, Mexico, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Robert Duval-Hernandez, Samuel Freije, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta

Gary S Fields

This paper examines changes in individual earnings during positive and negative growth periods in three Latin American economies: Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela. We ask two major questions. First, do panel income changes favor the income recipients who started at the top of the income distribution (“divergent mobility”) or those who started at the bottom (“convergent mobility”)? And second, are the groups that are found to gain the most when the economy is growing those that are found to lose the most when the economy is contracting (“symmetry of mobility”) or is the pattern asymmetric in the sense that the same ...


Falling Labor Income Inequality In Korea’S Economic Growth: Patterns And Underlying Causes, Gyeongjoon Yoo, Gary S. Fields Jul 2016

Falling Labor Income Inequality In Korea’S Economic Growth: Patterns And Underlying Causes, Gyeongjoon Yoo, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

Over the last twenty-five years, the economy of the Republic of Korea achieved a remarkable growth rate of 7 percent per year in real per capita income, causing it to be labeled, justifiably, as a “miracle economy.” This exceptional economic growth has been accompanied by an even more exceptional fall in labor income inequality. Using a newly-developed methodology, we use data from Korea’s Occupational Wage Surveys to quantify the importance of various factors that have contributed to the fall in labor income inequality in Korea. We find the most important factors explaining the level of income inequality are job ...


Decomposing Ldc Inequality, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

Decomposing Ldc Inequality, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] At the present time, there is great interest among development economists in the problem of economic inequality in less developed countries (LDCs). Studies of the determinants of inequality follow either of two general approaches. The more traditional approach is associated with names like Kuznets (1963), Chenery and associates (1960, 1968, 1975), Adelman and Morris (1973), Ahluwalia (1976) and Chiswick (1971). These studies share a common methodology, consisting basically of looking at a cross-section of countries, and (1) measuring the degree of inequality in each, (2) measuring other characteristics of each country (e.g., level of GNP, its rate of ...


Changing Labor Market Conditions And Economic Development In Hong Kong, The Republic Of Korea, Singapore, And Taiwan, China, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

Changing Labor Market Conditions And Economic Development In Hong Kong, The Republic Of Korea, Singapore, And Taiwan, China, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

In the newly industrializing economies (NIEs) of Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan (China), the entire working population has benefited from labor market institutions. The East Asian NIEs attained and maintained generally full employment, improved their job mixes, raised real earnings, and lowered their rates of poverty. This article reaches two principal conclusions. First, labor market conditions continued to improve in all four economies in the 1980s at rates remarkably similar to their rates of aggregate economic growth. Second, labor market repression was not a major factor in the growth experiences of these economies in the 1980s ...


Higher Education And Income Distribution In A Less Developed Country, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

Higher Education And Income Distribution In A Less Developed Country, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] The primary purpose of this paper is to empirically test among both the intra- and the inter-generational version of these three hypotheses for higher (i.e. post-secondary) levels of education for one less developed country, Kenya. A secondary purpose is to investigate other economic aspects of spending on higher education, most notably the question of horizontal equity in school finance. Before proceeding, a methodological point is in order. There is no consensus in the public economics literature on what is a suitable criterion for assessing the equitability of a fiscal programme. At least three criteria may be distinguished (the ...


Private Returns And Social Equity In The Financing Of Higher Education, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

Private Returns And Social Equity In The Financing Of Higher Education, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] A widespread phenomenon in developing countries has been the rapid growth of schools and institutions of higher learning resulting in a so-called ‘education explosion’. One possible explanation for the education explosion is that education is a profitable personal investment, as evidenced by high private rates of return. The high private returns are translated into demands on politicians for additional schooling spaces. To gain or maintain public favour, each politician uses his influence to try to increase the number of schools in his constituency. By this chain of events, growth of educational systems might be anticipated as long as private ...


The Dynamics Of Poverty, Inequality And Economic Well-Being: African Economic Growth In Comparative Perspective, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

The Dynamics Of Poverty, Inequality And Economic Well-Being: African Economic Growth In Comparative Perspective, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

Two hundred and fifty million Africans (about 45% of the population) are poor. In rural areas, where most Africans live, there is, alas, a 'poor majority'. Rural poverty rates range from 37% in Madagascar and 41% in Kenya to 88% in Zambia and 94% in Ghana (Table 1). It is hard to imagine an issue in development economics that is of greater importance to humankind than the effects of economic growth on poverty and economic well-being. Yet there is remarkably little consensus on this vitally important issue, as illustrated by the following two polar positions: New patterns of growth will ...


Changes In Poverty And Inequality In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

Changes In Poverty And Inequality In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

This paper presents new data on poverty, inequality, and growth in those developing countries of the world for which the requisite statistics are available. Economic growth is found generally but not always to reduce poverty. Growth, however, is found to have very little to do with income inequality. Thus the "economic laws" linking the rate of growth and the distribution of benefits receive only very tenuous empirical support here.


Income Distribution In Developing Economies: Conceptual, Data, And Policy Issues In Broad-Based Growth, Gary S. Fields Sep 2015

Income Distribution In Developing Economies: Conceptual, Data, And Policy Issues In Broad-Based Growth, Gary S. Fields

Gary S Fields

[Excerpt] The aim of economic development is to raise the standard of living of a country's people, especially its poor. Economic growth, particularly when broadly based, is a means to that end. 'Underdevelopment' can be defined as a state of severely constrained choices. When one is choosing from among an undesirable set of alternatives, the outcome will itself be undesirable. Standards of living will be low. If standards of living are to be improved, people must have a better set of alternatives from which to choose. 'Economic development' is the process by which the constraints on choices are relaxed ...


Earnings Mobility, Inequality, And Economic Growth In Argentina, Mexico, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Robert Duval-Hernandez, Samuel Freije, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta Jan 2015

Earnings Mobility, Inequality, And Economic Growth In Argentina, Mexico, And Venezuela, Gary S. Fields, Robert Duval-Hernandez, Samuel Freije, Maria Laura Sanchez Puerta

Articles and Chapters

This paper examines changes in individual earnings during positive and negative growth periods in three Latin American economies: Argentina, Mexico, and Venezuela. We ask two major questions. First, do panel income changes favor the income recipients who started at the top of the income distribution (“divergent mobility”) or those who started at the bottom (“convergent mobility”)? And second, are the groups that are found to gain the most when the economy is growing those that are found to lose the most when the economy is contracting (“symmetry of mobility”) or is the pattern asymmetric in the sense that the same ...


Self-Employment And Poverty In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields May 2014

Self-Employment And Poverty In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

A key way for the world’s poor—nearly half of humanity—to escape poverty is to earn more for their labor. Most of the world’s poor people are self-employed, but because there are few opportunities in most developing countries for them to earn enough to escape poverty, they are working hard but working poor. Two key policy planks in the fight against poverty should be: raising the returns to self-employment and creating more opportunities to move from self-employment into higher paying wage employment.


Class Lives: Stories From Across Our Economic Divide, Chuck Collins (Ed.), Jennifer Ladd (Ed.), Maynard Seider (Ed.), Felice Yeskel (Ed.) Jan 2014

Class Lives: Stories From Across Our Economic Divide, Chuck Collins (Ed.), Jennifer Ladd (Ed.), Maynard Seider (Ed.), Felice Yeskel (Ed.)

Book Samples

[Excerpt] Class is the last great taboo in the United States. It is, according to Noam Chomsky, “the unmentionable five-letter word.” Even in this period of growing economic inequality, we hardly ever talk about class. We hear daily, in the mainstream media, about unemployment, bailouts, proposed tax cuts or tax hikes, Congress regulating one industry and deregulating another, budget cuts, recession, recovery, roller-coaster markets, CEO bonuses, and more. Given all the attention to economics, it is interesting that talk about social class has been so skimpy.

Sometimes I think of class as our collective, national family secret. And, as any ...


Unequal Progress: The Annual Report On The Economic Status Of The Profession 2002-03, Ronald Ehrenberg Sep 2012

Unequal Progress: The Annual Report On The Economic Status Of The Profession 2002-03, Ronald Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] Most colleges and universities adopted budgets for the 2002-03 academic year in the spring and early summer of 2002. At that time, a pessimist might have cited several factors – negative rates of return from institutional endowments, a rising unemployment rate, an economic recession, and large increases in college and university enrollments, for example - to predict that faculty members would not see their earnings increase substantially in real terms in the coming year. The good news is that, overall and on average, the pessimists' worst fears proved incorrect. The bad news is that the overall aver-ages don't tell the ...


Empirical Consequences Of Comparable Worth, Ronald G. Ehrenberg Aug 2012

Empirical Consequences Of Comparable Worth, Ronald G. Ehrenberg

Ronald G. Ehrenberg

[Excerpt] To help focus subsequent debate, this paper presents a nontechnical survey of the small but growing empirical literature by economists on the consequences of comparable worth. I discuss in turn studies of the consequences of comparable worth on the male-female earnings gap, of its potential to affect adversely the employment of women, of its effects on the labor supply and occupational mobility of women, and of its effects on women and their families as a group. The survey is critical in nature and points to areas in which research is needed.


[Review Of The Book The Idea Of Poverty: England In The Early Industrial Age], George R. Boyer Jan 2012

[Review Of The Book The Idea Of Poverty: England In The Early Industrial Age], George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] One must have some knowledge of a society's conception of poverty in order to understand the existence of differing methods of poor relief over time and place. In The Idea of Poverty, Gertrude Himmelfarb presents a detailed account of England's poverty problem during the years 1750 to 1850 as seen by contemporary English economists, politicians, journalists, and novelists. She attempts to determine why the image of poverty, and of the poor, changed over those years and how the popular image of the poor influenced society's methods of relieving poverty. The result is a book that anyone ...


The Economic Role Of The English Poor Law, 1780-1834, George R. Boyer Jan 2012

The Economic Role Of The English Poor Law, 1780-1834, George R. Boyer

George R. Boyer

[Excerpt] Over the 85-year period from 1748/50 to 1832/34, real per capita expenditures on poor relief increased at an average rate of approximately 1 percent per year. There were also important changes in the administration of relief with respect to able-bodied laborers during the period. Policies providing relief outside of workhouses to unemployed and under-employed able-bodied laborers became widespread during the 1770s and 1780s in the grain-producing South and East of England. The so-called Speenhamland system of outdoor relief flourished until 1834, when it was abolished by the Poor Law Amendment Act. The aim of the thesis is ...


Challenges And Policy Lessons For The Growth-Employment-Poverty Nexus In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields Jan 2012

Challenges And Policy Lessons For The Growth-Employment-Poverty Nexus In Developing Countries, Gary S. Fields

Articles and Chapters

Productivity growth and structural change are generally considered to be important determinants of economic growth. However recent research revealed that they do not necessarily lead to higher growth and employment rates. Recent studies, drawing on data from developing countries, showed that only the “right” kind of productivity growth resulted in higher employment rates. Enterprises in Africa and Latin America caught up in matters of technology; however, this process resulted in a substitution of employment by technology. The same is true for structural change; only the “right” kind of structural change caused more growth and employment. Whereas in Asia, labour shifted ...