Regional or educational disparities? a counterfactual exercise

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This work investigates the impact of schooling Oil income distribution in statesjregions of Brazil. Using a semi-parametric model, discussed in DiNardo, Fortin & Lemieux (1996), we measure how much income diíferences between the Northeast and Southeast regions- the country's poorest and richest - and between the states of Ceará and São Paulo in those regions - can be explained by differences in schooling leveIs of the resident population. Using data from the National Household Survey (PNAD), we construct counterfactual densities by reweighting the distribution of the poorest region/state by the schooling profile of the richest. We conclude that: (i) more than 50% of the income di:fference is explained by the difference in schooling; (ii) the highest deciles of the income distribution gain more from an increase in schooling, closely approaching the wage distribution of the richest region/state; and (iii) an increase in schooling, holding the wage structure constant, aggravates the wage disparity in the poorest regions/ states.


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