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Changes in inequality and poverty in Latin America: Looking beyond income to health and education

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Abstract

This paper uses Demographic and Health Survey data from six Latin American countries to analyze levels and trends of inequality for two important non-income measures of wellbeing, childrenz s stature and adult womenq s educational attainment. Our purpose is to determine whether the worrying trend of increasing income inequality in Latin America is also found in non-income dimensions of well-being. We find that it is not. Almost across the board, health inequality, measured by childreni s stature, and education inequality, measured by young womeni s years of schooling, have fallen in these countries in the late 1980s and 1990s, often dramatically. Further, by decomposing changes in non-income dimensions of poverty into shifts in the mean and changes in the distribution of health and education, we show that reduced inequality has contributed to significant reductions in education poverty, and to a lesser extent, health poverty. This, too, is a very different result from the income inequality literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): IX (2006)
Issue (Month): (November)
Pages: 215-234

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Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:9:y:2006:n:2:p:215-234

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Keywords: inequality; poverty; health; education; Latin America;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Therese Nilsson, 2010. "Health, Wealth and Wisdom: Exploring Multidimensional Inequality in a Developing Country," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 299-323, January.
  2. Judith A. Clarke & Nilanjana Roy, 2009. "On Statistical Inference for Inequality Measures Calculated from Complex Survey Data," Econometrics Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Victoria 0904, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
  3. Mussa, Richard, 2010. "Poverty and Inequality in Standards of Living in Malawi: Does Religious Affiliation Matter?," MPRA Paper 24438, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Mussa, Richard, 2011. "The poverty-inequality relationship in Malawi: A multidimensional perspective," MPRA Paper 31413, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Isaac Addai & Jelena Pokimica, 2012. "An Exploratory Study of Trust and Material Hardship in Ghana," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 413-438, December.
  6. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2009. "Measuring intra‐household health inequality: explorations using the body mass index," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(S1), pages S13-S36, April.
  7. Mussa, Richard, 2010. "Spatial Comparisons of Poverty and Inequality in Living Standards in Malawi," MPRA Paper 23576, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Jane Kabubo-Mariara & Anthony Wambugu & Susan Musau, 2011. "Multidimensional Poverty in Kenya: Analysis of Maternal and Child Wellbeing," Working Papers PMMA, PEP-PMMA 2011-12, PEP-PMMA.
  9. Ewout Frankema, 2008. "Comparing the Distribution of Education Across the Developing World, 1960–2005: What Does the Grade Enrollment Distribution Tell about Latin America?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 437-455, September.

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