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Income distribution and income sources in Uruguay

This paper is concerned with changes in the distribution of income sources in Uruguay after the late eighties. An apparent stability in the distribution of total incomes is hiding deep transformations affecting the generation of that income. The distribution across all income earners at the end of the eighties exhibited two well-distinguished poles, each associated with one of the main income sources: pension benefits and wages. This bimodality diminished during the nineties due to the reduction in polarization by income sources. In the same period we find that in the case of labor earnings there was a net transfer of population mass from the middle of the distribution to both extremes, which results in an increasing polarization within this income source. This phenomenon resembles the Anglo-Saxon experience of the shrinking middle class.

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Article provided by Universidad del CEMA in its journal Journal of Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): IX (2006)
Issue (Month): (May)
Pages: 49-69

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Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:9:y:2006:n:1:p:49-69
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  1. Chakravarty, Satya R & Majumder, Amita, 2001. "Inequality, Polarisation and Welfare: Theory and Applications," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 1-13, March.
  2. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1994. "Economic distance and overlapping of distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 147-159, March.
  3. X. Zhang & R. Kanbur, 2001. "What Difference Do Polarisation Measures Make? An Application to China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 85-98.
  4. Esteban, J. & Gradin, C. & Ray, D., 1999. "Extension of a Measure of Polarization, with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," Papers 24, El Instituto de Estudios Economicos de Galicia Pedro Barrie de la Maza.
  5. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-51, July.
  6. Wang, You-Qiang & Tsui, Kai-Yuen, 2000. " Polarization Orderings and New Classes of Polarization Indices," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 2(3), pages 349-63.
  7. Marisa Bucheli & Máximo Rossi, 1994. "Distribución del ingreso en el Uruguay (1984-1992)," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1094, Department of Economics - dECON.
  8. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-58, May.
  9. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lerman, Robert I, 1991. "Income Stratification and Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 313-29, September.
  10. Daniel Miles & Máximo Rossi, 1999. "Geographic concentration and structure of wages in developing countries: the case of Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1399, Department of Economics - dECON.
  11. D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2001. "Household Characteristics and the Distribution of Income in Italy: An Application of Social Distance Measures," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 43-64, March.
  12. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-21, December.
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