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The Strugglers: The New Poor in Latin America?

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  • Birdsall, Nancy
  • Lustig, Nora
  • Meyer, Christian J.

Abstract

We identify a group of people in Latin America that are not poor but not middle class either—namely “strugglers” in households with daily income per capita between $4 and $10 (at constant 2005 PPP). This group will account for about a third of the region’s population over the next decades; as the size and income of the middle class rises, they could become increasingly marginalized. The cash transfers they receive are largely offset by indirect taxes; the benefit of schooling and other in-kind transfers they receive is questionable after adjusting for quality. We discuss implications for the social contract.

Suggested Citation

  • Birdsall, Nancy & Lustig, Nora & Meyer, Christian J., 2014. "The Strugglers: The New Poor in Latin America?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 132-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:60:y:2014:i:c:p:132-146 DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.03.019
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Levasseur, Pierre, 2015. "Causal effects of socioeconomic status on central adiposity risks: Evidence using panel data from urban Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 136, pages 165-174.
    2. Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira & Nadia Simoes, 2015. "An Integrated Approach for the Measurement of Inequality, Poverty, and Richness," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(5), pages 531-555, December.
    3. Enriqueta Camps & Stanley Engerman, 2016. "The economic geography of human capital in Twentieth-century Latin America in an international comparative perspective," Economics Working Papers 1528, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    4. Alan Fowler & Kees Biekart, 2016. "Navigating Polycentric Governance from a Citizen’s Perspective: The Rising New Middle Classes Respond," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 28(4), pages 705-721, September.
    5. LEVASSEUR Pierre, 2015. "Causal effects of socioeconomic status on central adiposity: Evidence using panel data from urban Mexico," Cahiers du GREThA 2015-09, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    6. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:633-660 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tony Addison & Yukka Pirttilä & Finn Tarp & Hai-Anh H. Dang & Peter F. Lanjouw, 2017. "Welfare Dynamics Measurement: Two Definitions of a Vulnerability Line and Their Empirical Application," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(4), pages 633-660, December.
    8. Andy Sumner, 2016. "The world's two new middles Growth, precarity, structural change, and the limitations of the special case," WIDER Working Paper Series 034, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Enriqueta Camps & Stanley L. Engerman, 2016. "The Economic Geography of Human Capital in Twentieth-Century Latin America in an International Comparative Perspective," Working Papers 914, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

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