Working Paper
The changing nature of work and inequality in Brazil (2003–19)

A descriptive analysis

In this paper we use different sources of data on job task content to investigate the importance of occupations and the intensity of routine tasks embodied in them in explaining changes in employment and earnings in Brazil, in particular their relation with earnings and polarization, and inequality.

We show some evidence of polarization in earnings but not with respect to employment, although the patterns resemble more that of pro-poor or pro-rich growth.

Changes in the earnings structure explain most of the reduction in inequality in the period between 2003 and 2012, while changes in composition dominate the rise in inequality in the period between 2012 and 2019.

Both movements are dominated by changes in educational levels and their returns. The impact of changes in routine task content on inequality varies between both periods but is in general small.