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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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  1. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sánchez-Páramo & Norbert Schady, 2010. "Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: The Role of Demand and Supply of Skills," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 307-326, January.
  2. Raymundo Campos & Gerardo Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989–2010," Working Papers 267, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. José Antonio Ocampo & Juliana Vallejo, 2012. "Economic Growth, Equity and Human Development in Latin America," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 107-133, February.
  4. Leonardo Gasparini & Sebastián Galiani & Guillermo Cruces & Pablo Acosta, 2012. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America. Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0127, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Edward & Andy Sumner, 2013. "Inequality from a global perspective: An alternative approach," Working Papers 302, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  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. Luis, Beccaria & Roxana, Maurizio & Vazquez, Gustavo, 2014. "Recent changes in wage inequality in Argentina. The role of labor formalization and other factors," MPRA Paper 56701, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. 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.
  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 paper1315, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  6. Sean Higgins, Nora Lustig, Whitney Ruble, and Timothy Smeeding, 2014. "Comparing the Incidence of Taxes and Social Spending in Brazil and the United States - Working Paper 360," Working Papers 360, Center for Global Development.
  7. Enamorado, Ted & Lopez-Calva , Luis-Felipe & Rodriguez-Castelan, Carlos & Winkler, Hernan, 2014. "Income inequality and violent crime : evidence from Mexico's drug war," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6935, The World Bank.
  8. Peter Paz & Carlos Urrutia, 2014. "Economic Growth and Wage Stagnation in Peru: 1998-2012," Working Papers 2014-5, Peruvian Economic Association.
  9. 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 1317, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  10. Bussolo, Maurizio & Maliszewska, Maryla & Murard, Elie, 2014. "The long-awaited rise of the middle class in Latin America is finally happening," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6912, The World Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Nora Lustig, 2013. "Book Review of Poverty, Inequality and Policy in Latin America," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 417-420, September.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

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