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Comparative Analysis of Social Inequalities in the Latin American Labour Market

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Abstract

The structuring of social inequalities in the Latin American labour market can be explained from a double perspective. First, in general, from the theory of labour market segmentation, where it is possible to differentiate mainly the hierarchical configuration of a primary and a secondary segment, resulting from different characterising factors that converge on both the demand and supply sides of the labour market. Secondly, particularly for Latin America, the theory of structural heterogeneity explains how capitalist economies subjected to an unequal, combined and dependent development model generate modern productive sectors of high productivity that coexist with others of very low productivity linked to informality and social subsistence needs. Based on this approach, the chapter performs two analytical exercises: first, it obtains a typology of four country models by comparing “Key Labor Market Indicators” proposed by the ILO and, second, it analyses in depth one country of each type to account for a multidimensional model of employment segmentation with national labour force surveys. Our hypothesis is that the same general pattern of labour segmentation emerges despite the socioeconomic and institutional differences in each country.

Keywords

  • Social inequalities
  • Labour market segmentation
  • Structural heterogeneity
  • Latin America
  • Argentina
  • Chile

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The complete data matrix is attached in the appendix.

  2. 2.

    We refer to contract conditions and the quality thereof, and we do not specifically capture the characteristics of labour from the demand side contextualised the way production and labour are aorganised, with effective functions and qualifications that are observable in the micro-social realities of jobs.

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Acknowledgements

This chapter was produced in the context of the INCASI Network, a European project that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie GA, No. 691004, and coordinated by Dr. Pedro López-Roldán. This chapter only reflects the author’s views, and the Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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Appendix. KILM Variables that Characterise 28 Latin-American and Caribbean Countries

Appendix. KILM Variables that Characterise 28 Latin-American and Caribbean Countries

  Country Employment_to_populaiton ratio Status in employment Employment agriculture Employment services Managers professionals Advan-ced educa-tion Hours of work Informal employment Unemployment rate Labour underutilization Youth NEET rate Time-related underemployment Month-ly earnin-gs Lab-our costs Labour productivity Extre-mely poor Higher economic class Lab-our dependency ratio Trade union density rate Collec-tivebargain-ing coverage rate
1 Argentina 54.8 74.7 0.1 77.5 24.7 22.6 38 43.8 9.5   19.3 11.9 1201 1.1 46,753 0.1 96.4 1.4 27.7  
2 Bahamas 65.7 85.6 2.6 81.3 30.1     11.9       53,657 0.0 95.8 0.9   
3 Barbados 59.3 83.4 2.8 78.0 30.9     9.6    3.0    35,691 0.1 94.7 1.1   
4 Belize 60.9 66.2 17.6 67.8 25.7 20.0 43   9.4 12.7 27.3 3.6 997   18,643 3.4 73.4 1.4 9.1 9.1
5 Bolivia 65.7 37.6 28.1 50.2 17.2 18.8 43 74.7 3.3 10.2 11.6 5.3 1004   15,585 5.3 81.5 1.2 39.1  
6 Brazil 55.9 67.8 9.4 70.2 23.8 22.0 38 36.0 12.5 24.3 24.2 7.3 1036   32,578 0.8 89.6 1.3 18.9 70.5
7 Chile 57.9 71.5 9.2 68.1 26.2 18.3 40 22.2 7.2 21.7 15.9 8.7 896 13.6 50,669 0.3 95.6 1.2 19.6 17.9
8 Colombia 63.6 49.1 16.4 64.3 18.8 28.1 44 58.3 9.1 17.2 22.9 8.0 1294   27,492 1.9 81.5 1.0 9.5 15.7
9 Costa Rica 55.2 75.8 12.5 69.1 23.3 20.1 42 35.5 8.1 25.6 19.0 8.2 2071 6.8 36,699 0.3 95.3 1.3 19.4 10.6
10 Cuba 52.4 90.7 18.3 64.9 21.5 16.0 41   2.3       36,390 0.0 93.6 1.3 81.4 81.4
11 Dominican Republic 60.3 56.3 9.5 71.1 16.4 12.5 41 50.9 5.8 17.1 24.3 5.4 683   35,298 0.9 84.7 1.3 11.0  
12 Ecuador 66.4 50.9 27.5 54.0 13.3 15.4 38 52.4 3.9   17.7     22,306 3.9 80.7 1.1   
13 El Salvador 58.3 60.0 18.5 59.7 10.7 5.8 42 68.2 4.4 14.9 28.4 8.7 609   17,419 0.7 77.1 1.4 19.0 5.0
14 Guatemala 60.6 62.5 29.3 50.0 9.5 4.3 43 72.6 2.7 12.7 27.3 10.3 653   18,951 3.5 68.2 1.5 2.6  
15 Guyana 50.5 39.4 18.5 55.9 17.9 7.3   35.9 12.2 30.6 1.4 7.0 826   21,259 1.8 79.8 1.8   
16 Haiti 58.7 13.8 49.8 39.9 6.5     13.5   35.2     4213 19.8 29.0 1.5   
17 Honduras 62.6 47.8 31.9 47.6 12.1 5.4 39 77.1 4.1 20.2 27.7 10.9 677   10,770 12.8 56.8 1.3   
18 Jamaica 60.7 60.7 16.6 67.8 21.8   43   9.5    0.8 1439   17,762 0.3 82.9 1.1   
19 Mexico 59.1 68.6 13.0 61.1 19.8 17.5 46 56.1 3.3   18.4 4.7 681   40,163 1.3 68.0 1.3 12.5  
20 Nicaragua 63.7 55.2 31.0 52.3 15.2 9.6 36 74.9 4.5   1.4 25.9 1176   12,109 5.3 51.7 1.2 5.3  
21 Panama 63.8 65.2 14.3 67.1 24.9 16.6 38 40.4 3.9 13.3 17.2 5.1 1298   49,792 0.4 92.5 1.2 11.9 1.0
22 Paraguay 67.3 56.2 20.0 59.9 18.0 14.9 41 50.6 4.7 14.8 18.1 5.5    18,803 0.4 86.8 1.1 6.7 0.7
23 Peru 75.0 45.1 27.5 56.9 25.4 30.4 39 59.8 28   17.7 5.0 839   22,868 3.6 76.1 0.8 5.7 4.8
24 Puerto Rico 36.5 83.0 1.4 81.6 33.0     11.4     1673   99,961 0.0 99.6 2.3   
25 Suriname 47.7 86.0 7.0 68.3 32.4     7.6       39,627 6.3 77.2 1.8   
26 Trinidad and Tobago 58.9 76.6 3.2 69.5 30.6 22.0    2.8   52.1     63,561 0.0 95.1 1.1 19.8  
27 Uruguay 59.2 72.0 8.7 71.6 22.4 15.1 43 26.7 8.0 20.4 18.0 9.4 1219   45,117 0.0 98.3 1.1 30.1  
28 Venezuela 57.0 63.5 7.2 71.7 26.7 29.4 38   8.4   19.6   833   27,550 10.1 66.7 1.4 I 0.2 2.5
  1. Source: Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM), International Labour Office (2016)

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López-Roldán, P., Fachelli, S. (2022). Comparative Analysis of Social Inequalities in the Latin American Labour Market. In: Vommaro, P., Baisotti, P. (eds) Persistence and Emergencies of Inequalities in Latin America. Latin American Societies. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-90495-1_13

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