The Structure of Wages in Latin American Manufacturing Industries

By Jorge Salazar-Carrillo; Juan J. Buttari et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 7. Manufacturing wages in Colombia

by Francisco J. Ortega

This chapter discusses wage structure in several manufacturing industries and cities in Colombia in greater detail than in the preceding international comparisons. The methodology used was explained in chapter 2. Since many decisions on data collection were based primarily on the needs of the international analysis, the coverage of this study is limited by the definitions and choices outlined in those chapters.

The size of the sample and its distribution by industries and cities appears in table 7-1. Three main industries--textiles, pharmaceuticals, and metallurgy--were chosen for the analysis of wage differentials in Colombia. The firms in these three industries were, with few exceptions, located in Medellín, Bogotá, and Barranquilla. The sample was not geographically balanced; the textile industry being concentrated in Medellín, the pharmaceutical industry in Bogotá, and the metallurgical industry split between the two. The data in the survey were obtained by direct interviews with each firm's personnel head or industrial relations office.1 Analysis of variance was used to check whether differences in wage variation in occupations, industries, and cities were due to sampling problems. The results were generally satisfactory, except for the occupations of lathe operator and invoice clerk.


General considerations on wage structure

The comparative analysis of wage differentials was done on three levels: by occupations, industries, and cities. All possible cross comparisons were

NOTE: The author presently is manager of the Colombian Central Bank. When this chapter was written he was the director of the Centro de Desarrollo Económico (CEDE) of the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. He would like to convey his appreciation for the valuable contributions made by Rafael Prieto, Peter Knight, and Alvaro Reyes; for the typing done with special dedication by Mrs. Miriam de Pinzón; and for Jorge Sapoznicow's help in the statistical calculations.

____________________
1
The data collection was carried out by Roberto Martínez, a junior economist at CEDE, under the direction of Dr. Miguel Urrutia.

-100-

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