Wage inequality in Chile: a directed search approach with heterogeneous skill distribution
Rivera Silva, Eduardo Felipe
Villena Roldan, Benjamín
Magíster en Economía Aplicada
The following work is a study about wage inequality in Chile. Wage inequality is understood as the difference in total wages earned by the high earners and low earners.
This thesis proposes a directed search model. This models are used to describe markets with frictions, in which markets don't necessarily clear. In particular, directed search models assume that the searchers direct their efforts towards specific markets, characterized by the same posted wage.
The model also considers a distribution of skills, with a law of motion, that under certain conditions converges into a steady state distribution, which is then used to check the job market for each skill level, as well as the wages and output of the economy.
To help calibrate, the data was collected from public government sources, and the model was computed using numeric methods for both the steady states and the wage distribution.
The results point toward the existence of a trade-off between equality and efficiency, where countries where the highly productive are paid the biggest share of output are also the ones that produce more and are thus more efficient, while markets with a more even distribution of wages also have higher levels of unemployment and less total output.
Also, the model implies that currently Chile leans a bit more towards a more "rigid" distribution, and therefore has a higher amount of wage inequality, still far from the more mobile models.
Finally, the study suggests how policy could shape the direction and steady state of the distribution of skills, and suggests further lines of investigation to follow.