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Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

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Author Info

  • Nora Lustig

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Luis F. Lopez-Calva

    ()
    (Poverty and Gender Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean Vice-presidency, World Bank)

  • Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez

    ()
    (Poverty, Human Development and Millennium Development Goal Unit, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP))

Abstract

Between 2000 and 2010, the Gini coefficient declined in 13 of 17 Latin American countries. The decline was statistically significant and robust to changes in the time interval, inequality measures and data sources. In depth country studies for Argentina, Brazil and Mexico suggest two main phenomena underlie this trend: a fall in the premium to skilled labor and more progressive government transfers. The fall in the premium to skills resulted from a combination of supply, demand, and institutional factors. Their relative importance depends on the country.

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File URL: http://econ.tulane.edu/RePEc/pdf/tul1218.pdf
File Function: First Version, September 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1218.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1218

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Keywords: Income inequality; skill premium; government transfers; progressivity; Latin America;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Paz & Carlos Urrutia, 2014. "Economic Growth and Wage Stagnation in Perú: 1998-2012," Documentos de Trabajo 2014-372, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
  2. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2013. "Deconstructing the Decline in Inequality in Latin America," Working Papers 1314, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  3. Nora Lustig & Florencia Amábile & Marisa Bucheli & George Gray Molina & Sean Higgins & Miguel Jaramillo & Wilson Jiménez Pozo & Veronica Paz Arauco & Claudiney Pereira & Carola Pessino & Máximo Ros, 2013. "The impact of taxes and social spending on inequality and poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay: An overview," Working Papers 315, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  4. Peter Edward, Andy Sumner, 2013. "The Geography of Inequality: Where and by How Much Has Income Distribution Changed since 1990?-Working Paper 341," Working Papers 341, Center for Global Development.
  5. Richard M. Bird & Eric M. Zolt, 2013. "Taxation and Inequality in the Americas: Changing the Fiscal Contract?," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1322, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Nancy Birdsall and Christian J. Meyer, 2014. "The Median Is the Message: A Good-Enough Measure of Material Well-Being and Shared Development Progress," Working Papers 351, Center for Global Development.
  7. Sean Higgins & Nora Lustig & Whitney Ruble & Timothy Smeeding, 2013. "Comparing the incidence of taxes and social spending in Brazil and the United States," Working Papers 316, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  8. Santiago Levy & Norbert Schady, 2013. "Latin America's Social Policy Challenge: Education, Social Insurance, Redistribution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 193-218, Spring.
  9. Peter Edward & Andy Sumner, 2013. "Inequality from a global perspective: An alternative approach," Working Papers 302, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  10. Carrera Troyano, Miguel & Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael, 2013. "Tres décadas de economía, ideología económica y políticas en la evolución de la pobreza y la desigualdad en América Latina
    [Three decades of economics, economic ideology and policies in the
    ," MPRA Paper 51867, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.

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