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Expanding higher education and wage inequality in Chile

Yoshimichi Murakami and Tomokazu Nomura ()

Journal of Economic Studies, 2020, vol. 47, issue 4, 877-889

Abstract: Purpose - This study aims to analyse the contribution of the expansion and diversification of higher education to Chile's increase in wage inequality from 1992 to 2000 and its subsequent decrease from 2000 to 2013. Design/methodology/approach - The wage equation for each year is estimated using data from the national household survey, Findings - The results show that the positive composition effect of higher education, derived from the increasing share of both workers with university degrees and those with vocational degrees, is substantially larger at the upper quantiles and exceeds the negative wage structure effect, thereby contributing to increasing wage inequality from 1992 to 2000. By contrast, the negative wage structure effect of higher education, primarily derived from the decreasing return to university degrees, is substantially larger at the upper quantiles and exceeds the positive composition effect, thereby contributing to decreasing wage inequality from 2000 to 2013. Originality/value - This study contributes to the literature by showing that the expansion of higher education increased inequality in the 1990s and decreased it in the 2000s while the increasing supply of workers with vocational degrees decreased wage premiums for university degrees in the latter period.

Keywords: Higher education; Wage inequality; Chile; Unconditional quantile regression; D31; I23; I24; J31; O15; O54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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