The Structure of Wages in Latin American Manufacturing Industries

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

Chapter 6. Intercountry pay differentials for the same position

This chapter examines the extent to which pay differentials exist among countries for the same position after the impact of qualitative requirements has been accounted for. The positions covered in this chapter were only those for which sufficient observations were obtained in the countries covered. As will be recalled, two types of positions were surveyed in the study: "key" positions, which were included and defined beforehand, and other positions, whose inclusion and definition were determined at the time of the survey and which were not uniformly covered across countries and industries. Only the key positions are covered in this chapter, subclassified into two groups: clerical positions and production positions. One of the latter, engineering trainee, had to be omitted because such data did not exist in a number of the sampled firms. For each of the eleven remaining positions, an index measuring intercountry differentials will be shown and commented upon in the following pages, with the LAFTA average as the base.


Clerical positions

Five such positions were covered--file clerk, typist, invoice clerk, accounting clerk, and cashier--and are defined in appendix 2 of chapter 3. Table 6-1 presents the index corresponding to file clerk. The concept used in the comparisons is that of net wages or take-home pay expressed in real terms (utilizing purchasing power parity rates for conversion into a common currency). The same four variables as before were used for normalization purposes: education, experience, responsibility, and the size of firm.

As table 6-1 makes evident, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela are the countries in which file clerks receive the highest wages in real terms, but with Mexico 50% above the other two. In contrast, real wages for file clerks are the lowest in Brazil. In the rest of the countries the real wage levels of file clerks are not that far apart.

In table 6-2 comparable results are presented for typists. Again Mexico is highest, followed at a distance by Venezuela and Chile. As in the pre-

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