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Earnings Inequality and Dynamics in the Presence of Informality: The Case of Brazil

Niklas Engbom, Gustavo Gonzaga (), Christian Moser () and Roberta Olivieri

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Using a combination of rich administrative and household survey data, we document a series of new facts on earnings inequality and dynamics in a developing country with a large informal sector: Brazil. Since the mid-1990s, both inequality and volatility of earnings have declined significantly in Brazil's formal sector. Higher-order moments of the distribution of earnings innovations show similar cyclical movements in Brazil as in developed countries like the U.S. Earnings mobility is comparatively high, especially at the bottom of the distribution. Compared to the formal sector, earnings are more volatile in the informal sector. Workers who switch between sectors experience earnings innovations that have a positive mean and are positively skewed when moving to the formal sector but have a negative mean and are negatively skewed when moving to the informal sector. A secular shift of employment toward the less volatile formal sector since the early 2000s has contributed to a decline in the economy-wide volatility of earnings.

Keywords: Earnings Inequality; Earnings Volatility; Earnings Mobility; Informality. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 D33 E24 E26 J31 J46 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-02-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-iue, nep-lam, nep-lma and nep-mac
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Working Paper: Earnings Inequality and Dynamics in the Presence of Informality: The Case of Brazil (2021) Downloads
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