The Evolution of the Earnings Distribution in a Volatile Economy: Evidence from Argentina
89 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021 Last revised: 13 Jan 2022
Date Written: January 12, 2022
This paper studies earnings inequality and dynamics in Argentina between 1996 and 2015. Following the 2001–2002 crisis, the Argentine economy transitioned from a low- to a high-inflation regime. At the same time, the number of collective bargaining agreements increased, and minimum wage adjustments became more frequent. We document that this macroeconomic transition was associated with a persistent decrease in the dispersion of real earnings and cyclical movements in higher-order moments of the distribution of earnings changes. To understand this transition at the micro level, we estimate processes of regular wages within job spells. As the Argentine economy transitioned from low to high inflation, the monthly frequency of regular-wage adjustments almost doubled, while the distribution of regular-wage changes morphed from having a mode close to zero and being positively skewed to having a positive mode and being more symmetric.
Keywords: Earnings Inequality, Earnings Volatility, Earnings Mobility, Wage Rigidity, Inflation
JEL Classification: D31, E24, E31, J31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation