Ethnic and Gender Wage Gaps in Ecuador

Apr 2009
Returns to labor for workers with similar endowments of productive characteristics in Ecuador are influenced by two characteristics that, arguably, should play no role on the determination of wages: gender and ethnicity. This paper analyzes wage gaps due to both characteristics in Ecuador for the period 2003-2007, applying a matching comparisons technique developed in Ñopo (2008). The results indicate ethnic wage gaps that are notably higher than gender wage gaps. Furthermore, ethnic wage gaps are higher among males than among females. Differences in human capital characteristics, however, explain almost one-half of the ethnic wage gaps but only a small fraction of the gender wage gaps. Both gender and ethnic wage gaps are more pronounced at the lower extremes of the earnings distribution.