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Recent Trends In Income Inequality In Latin America


  • Leonardo Gasparini


  • Guillero Cruces


  • Leopoldo Tornarolli



This paper documents patterns and recent developments on income inequality in Latin America (LA). New comparative international evidence confirms that LA is a region of high inequality, although maybe not the highest in the world. Income inequality has fallen in the 2000s, suggesting a turning point from the substantial increases of the 1980s and 1990s. The fall in inequality is significant and widespread, but it does not seem to be based on strong fundamentals.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Gasparini & Guillero Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli, 2011. "Recent Trends In Income Inequality In Latin America," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 147-201, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008446

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fortin, Bernard & Marceau, Nicolas & Savard, Luc, 1997. "Taxation, wage controls and the informal sector," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 293-312, November.
    2. Camilo Mondragón-Vélez & Ximena Peña, 2010. "Business Ownership and Self-Employment in Developing Economies: The Colombian Case," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 89-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Daniel Mejía & carlos Esteban Posada, 2007. "Informalidad: teoría e implicaciones de política," Borradores de Economia 455, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    4. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Bernal Raquel, 2009. "The Informal Labor Market in Colombia: identification and characterization," REVISTA DESARROLLO Y SOCIEDAD, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE, September.
    6. Maloney, William F., 2004. "Informality Revisited," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1178, July.
    7. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2, January.
    8. Kristensen, Nicolai & Cunningham, Wendy, 2006. "Do minimum wages in Latin America and the Caribbean matter ? Evidence from 19 countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3870, The World Bank.
    9. Michael J. Pisani & José A. Pagán, 2004. "Self-employment in the era of the new economic model in Latin America: a case study from Nicaragua," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 335-350, July.
    10. Wendy Cunningham, 2007. "Minimum Wages and Social Policy : Lessons from Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6760.
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    More about this item


    inequality; distribution; education; Latin America; Caribbean;

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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