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

In the sample of employed with higher education we confirm that returns for experience are greater than what is observed in the total population for both countries, and are consistently higher for men in Brazil. In Mexico, rates of return are more similar between genders, although there are some differences at the extreme ends; men with less experience have a slightly higher rate of return than women, while women have higher rates of return in older age groups (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Rate of Return on Experience. Brazil and Mexico.
Adult Population with Higher Education. 2008

Source: pnad and enoe 2008. Prepared by the authors.

In the sample of employed persons with university education and high job positions, compared with the rest of the population with university education, the results from the two countries diverged from previous samples. In Brazil, the return is greater only in younger age groups, while the rates of return converge for older employees. In other words, the more experience an individual with higher education has, the less relevant the type of employment to differentiate the margin of return on experience for salaries. For Mexico, the rates of return for experience for employed persons with higher education were always greater than the rates for the greater employed population with higher education, regardless of gender. This behavior indicates that professional experience has different effects on the level of income received from a job (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Rate of Return on Experience. Brazil and Mexico.
Population with Higher Education and Employed as Executive or High-Level Professional/Technician. 2008
Source: pnad and enoe 2008. Prepared by the authors.

Those with university education in jobs that require higher studies receive, on average, higher income than those with university education working in any type of job, in such a way that the increase in professional experience presents higher relative rates of return in terms of salaries. In other words, in more prestigious positions, experience is more relevant to determine an employee’s income, both in Brazil and in Mexico.