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

Among employed adults, the relationship between income/hour of main occupation and education is growing, in accordance with what is expected, as well as the income/hour differential among different levels of education. Increasing income due to greater education provides an incentive for the population in both countries to obtain higher levels of education, especially in Brazil. Mexican employees with complete higher education receive, on average, an hourly income that is 1.8 times that of the population with complete secondary education, and is 6.5 times higher than what illiterate persons receive. In Brazil, the difference is even greater. Employed persons with higher education receive an income that is 2.8 times higher than those with complete secondary education, and the difference is 8.2 times what the uneducated population earns (Table 6).

The income/hour differential is lower in Mexico than in Brazil, although the total income differential is higher. In both countries, the income/hour gap grows as education increases, except for employees with the primary level or incomplete secondary level of education, in Brazil (Tables 7 and 8). The income/hour data emphasizes the fact that the population with higher education earns significantly higher incomes than the rest of the less educated population and that the salary gap by gender increases as level of education goes up.