Gender and Salaries of the Qualified
Workforce in Brazil and Mexico
Maria Cristina Cacciamali and Fábio Tatei

The results of return on years of education also follow the theory’s proposal —a positive and growing relation with income level— but estimates by gender presented opposite behavior in the two countries analyzed: Brazilian women have greater competitive advantages when concluding higher education than men, which is the opposite in Mexico (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Rate of Return on Education. Brazil and Mexico.
Adult Population. 2008
Source: pnad and enoe 2008. Prepared by the authors.

Table 10 shows a summary of the effects of dummy variables — region and job category — that were incorporated into the salary equation applied to the two types of samples taken in 2008. The Southeast region and the job category of professionals of the arts and sciences made up the basis for comparison. For the dummies for geographic region, the results are valid both for the sample of employed adults as well as the other two samples with university education, for both men and women. The estimates reveal greater returns for more dynamic or economically developed regions in each country. In other words, the location of employees has an effect on their income and the regional pattern persists for both genders.

For the job category dummies, estimates for Brazil and Mexico indicate that, independent of gender, those employed in the executives category receive greater salary return. The category of technicians and professionals with higher education had the second highest income return, while the lowest returns were among jobs linked to commerce and services. Only this last category saw differences between genders. In Brazil, the lowest salary returns for employed men were in the category of service workers and for women in the category of production of goods and services and maintenance and repair. In Mexico, the lowest salary returns for men were in the category of security and surveillance and for women, in the category of transport operators.