The rise and fall of Brazilian inequality, 1981-2004
AbstractMeasured by the Gini coefficient, income inequality in Brazil rose from 0.57 in 1981 to 0.63 in 1989, before falling back to 0.56 in 2004. This latest figure would lower Brazil's world inequality rank from 2nd (in 1989) to 10th (in 2004). Poverty incidence also followed an inverted U-curve over the past quarter century, rising from 0.30 in 1981 to 0.33 in 1993, before falling to 0.22 in 2004. Using standard decomposition techniques, this paper presents a preliminary investigation of the determinants of Brazil's distributional reversal over this period. The rise in inequality in the 1980s appears to have been driven by increases in the educational attainment of the population in a context of convex returns, and by high and accelerating inflation. While the secular decline in inequality, which began in 1993, is associated with declining inflation, it also appears to have been driven by four structural and policy changes which have so far not attracted sufficient attention in the literature, namely sharp declines in the returns to education; pronounced rural-urban convergence; increases in social assistance transfers targeted to the poor; and a possible decline in racial inequality. Although poverty dynamics since the Real Plan of 1994 have been driven primarily by economic growth, the decline in inequality has also made a substantial contribution to poverty reduction.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3867.
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Inequality; Services&Transfers to Poor; Poverty Impact Evaluation; Rural Poverty Reduction; Achieving Shared Growth;
Other versions of this item:
- Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Litchfield, Julie A., 2008. "The Rise And Fall Of Brazilian Inequality: 1981–2004," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 199-230, September.
- NEP-ALL-2006-03-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2006-03-25 (Development)
- NEP-LAM-2006-03-25 (Central & South America)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.