Alexandre Gori Maia, Arthur Sakamoto, Sharron Xuanren Wang | Na Revista de Economia Contemporânea

In this study, we analyze the relationship between the development of occupational structure and income inequality in Brazil and the U.S. While both Brazil and the U.S. face high levels of inequality, low socioeconomic development in Brazil notably reduces the proportion of total income that accrues in the bottom two quintiles of the income distribution. In the U.S., inequality is mostly due to unobserved differences within occupations and has grown in large part because of higher earnings among highskilled workers. Our results highlight that the effects of occupational structure are generally more pronounced at lower levels of economic development. At the higher level of economic development found in the U.S., inequality appears to increase largely due to rising inequality among high-skilled employees, which may be a function of unobserved organizational variables such as firm productivity and market advantage.

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