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Declining Inequality in Latin America: Some Economics, Some Politics - Working Paper 251

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  • Nancy Birdsall, Nora Lustig, and Darryl McLeod

Abstract

Latin America is known to have income inequality among the highest in the world. That inequality has been invoked to explain low growth, poor education, macroeconomic volatility, and political instability. But new research shows that inequality in the region is falling. In this paper, we summarize recent findings on the decline in inequality across the region, analyze how the type of political regime (populist, social democratic, right of center) matters to the sustainability of the decline, and investigate the relationship between changes in inequality and changes in the size of the middle class in the region. We conclude with some questions about whether and how changes in income distribution and in middle-class economic power will affect the politics of distribution in the future.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Global Development in its series Working Papers with number 251.

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Length: 31 pages
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Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:251

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Web page: http://www.cgdev.org

Related research

Keywords: Latin America; inequality; political regime; middle class;

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Cited by:
  1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2012. "Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010," Working Papers - Economics wp2012_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  2. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, 2012. "Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2011," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Nancy Birdsall, Nora Lustig, Christian Meyer, 2013. "The Strugglers: The New Poor in Latin America?-Working Paper 337," Working Papers 337, Center for Global Development.
  4. Barrientos, Armando, 2011. "On the Distributional Implications of Social Protection Reforms in Latin America," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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