Perceived and Just Salary Gaps Across Time. the Chilean Case.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 10:45
Location: Hörsaal 4C KS (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Rodrigo YANEZ ROJAS, PhD student EHESS, France
Economic inequality has been at the top of the research agenda of the social sciences in recent years. Social movements demanding more redistribution, economic crises, and strong income concentration have drawn the attention of scholars, who have provided empirical evidence for the distribution of wealth among countries and across time. We certainly know more about inequality today than a few years ago. However, even if we know more about how wealth is distributed, there is limited research on how people perceive economic inequality and what they consider just.

This presentation aims to analyze economic inequality in Chile, one of the most unequal countries in the world, through income distribution. We use the perspective of the “observer" to study the relationship between perceptions and beliefs about inequality. The goal is to understand interindividual and intergroup variations, including the effect of structural and contextual variables, and their consequences on the behavior of social actors. We use data available from ISSP 1999, ISSP 2009, and COES 2014 databases, which have common key indicators of inequality beliefs and perceptions.

For date, studies have analyzed the relationship between perception and beliefs between 1999 and 2009, indicating that the amount of perceived inequality and inequality considered just is quite high in both years; both indexes are highly correlated and their relationship is stable over time [Castillo, 2012, Castillo et al., 2012]. This can be understood as a process of justification or naturalization of inequality. Nevertheless, since the social movements of 2011, it seems that Chilean's relationship with inequality has changed. A new public discussion has settled in Chilean society, presents on political reforms developed in 2014 and 2015. Thus, can we observe a change in the relationship between perceptions and beliefs of inequality across time? And what role are structural and contextual variables playing?