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Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Lustig, Nora
  • Lopez-Calva, Luis F.
  • Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo

Abstract

During 2000–10, 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lustig, Nora & Lopez-Calva, Luis F. & Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo, 2013. "Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 129-141.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:44:y:2013:i:c:p:129-141
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2012.09.013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; skill premium; government transfers; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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