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Estudios de economía

versión On-line ISSN 0718-5286

Estudios de Economía vol.45 no.2 Santiago dic. 2018

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-52862018000200173 

Artículos

U-shaped wage curve and the Internet: The Colombian case

Internet y curva salarial en forma de U: El caso colombiano

Diego A. Martin 1 

1Colombia. CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, Research Department Correo electrónico: dmartin@caf.com

Abstract:

While there is a broad consensus in the literature that there is a positive correlation between Internet usage and labor income in the richest countries, this link has not been proven in the developing world. This paper uses propensity score matching techniques and household survey data to estimate the effect of the Internet on wages in Colombia, a country that has experienced a relatively rapid diffusion of information and communications technology in recent years. The empirical results confirm that there is a positive and statistically significant relationship between Internet use and income in this country. Consistent with evidence gathered on developed countries in previous studies, the empirical results also suggest that workers in the middle of the skill distribution receive the lowest wage premium for using the Internet. However, contrary to most evidence from developed countries, low skilled workers in Colombia enjoy the highest wage premium from Internet use, which illustrates the potential for new technologies to address inequality gaps between occupations.

Keywords: Propensity score matching; skills; wage differentials; internet; income distribution

Resumen:

Si bien existe un amplio consenso en la literatura acerca de la existencia de una correlación positiva entre el uso de Internet y el ingreso laboral en los países más ricos, este vínculo no se ha demostrado en el mundo en desarrollo. Este documento utiliza propensity score matching y datos de encuestas de hogares para estimar el efecto de Internet sobre los salarios en Colombia, un país que ha experimentado una difusión relativamente rápida de la tecnología de la información y la comunicación en los últimos años. Los resultados empíricos confirman que existe una relación positiva y estadísticamente significativa entre el uso de Internet y los ingresos en este país. De acuerdo con la evidencia reunida en países desarrollados en estudios previos, los resultados empíricos también sugieren que los trabajadores en el medio de la distribución de habilidades reciben la prima salarial más baja por usar Internet. Sin embargo, contrariamente a la evidencia de los países desarrollados, los trabajadores poco calificados en Colombia disfrutan de la prima salarial más alta del uso de Internet, lo que ilustra el potencial de las nuevas tecnologías para abordar las brechas de desigualdad entre las ocupaciones.

Palabras clave: Propensity score matching; habilidades; diferencia salarial; internet; distribución salarial

Texto completo disponible sólo en PDF.

Full text available only in PDF format.

Financing

I thank the seminary of Universidad del Rosario and the anonymous peer reviewers for all the useful comments. I am also very grateful to Juan Vargas for his guidance in this document, which is my master’s thesis for the Universidad del Rosario.

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Received: September 24, 2017; Accepted: May 07, 2018

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