Ethnic and gender wage differences remain significant in Latin America despite recent economic growth and policies aimed at reducing inequality, according to a new study "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America" by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
In an unprecedented analysis of household data from 18 nations in Latin America, the study found that women and ethnic minorities are clearly at a disadvantage.
- Afro-descendants, indigenous people earn 28 per cent less than their white peers
- Males earn 17 percent more than females in the region when both have the same age, level of education
- Education is key to reduce ethnic wage inequalities in the region.
The gaps tend to be more pronounced in private sector jobs, according to the 76-page study, which was based on a major review of household survey data from 18 nations throughout the region over the past 15 years.
The study compared wages among individuals with the same demographic and job-related characteristics - including age, level of education, place of residence, and type of employment.
In addition to Bolivia and Brazil, the country studies included Argentina, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the five Spanish-speaking countries of Central America.
The study used a new methodology designed to better measure the role of individual characteristics and experience in explaining wage gaps than previous studies in an effort to isolate specific factors that may contribute to the disparities.
For further reading, visit: http://www.iadb.org/