Economic Inequality and Political Power: A Comparative Analysis of Argentina and Brazil
In this paper we analyze the distribution of pay and changing trends of inequality in Argentina and Brazil, illuminating the specific winners and losers, by region and by economic activity (sector). In both countries we find that inequality rose in the neoliberal period, but that it declined following the severe crises of neoliberal policy, in 1993 in Brazil and in late 2001 in Argentina. This period of post-neoliberalism is characterized in both countries by a decline in the economic weight of the financial sector and a recovery of the position of the civil service. In both countries, the rise in inequality leading to the crisis produced an increase in the relative position of the major metropolitan centers; this positional advantage also declined modestly in the post-crisis recovery period.
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