Earnings Mobility in Times of Growth and Decline: Argentina from 1996 to 2003
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Fields, Gary S.; Sánchez Puerta, María Laura
In recent years, the economy of Argentina has experienced both rapid economic growth and severe economic decline. In this paper, we use a series of one-year long panels to study who gained the most in pesos when the economy grew and who lost the most in pesos when the economy contracted. Various considerations led us to expect that mobility would be divergent—that is, that the individuals who started with the highest initial earnings would enjoy the largest earnings gains in pesos. Contrary to expectations and for a wide range of specifications, mobility is found to be mostly convergent, sometimes neutral, and never divergent. We then demonstrate how generally rising inequality and convergent mobility can be reconciled. Thus, the panel data analysis performed in this paper presents a picture of economic growth that is much more pro-poor than what one gets from cross-sectional inequality comparisons.
mobility; income; Argentina; economic growth
Required Publisher Statement: Copyright held by Elsevier. Final version published as: Fields, G. S. & Sánchez Puerta, M. L. (2010). Earnings mobility in times of growth and decline: Argentina from 1996 to 2003. World Development, 38(6), 870-880. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.