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Income Polarization in Latin America: Patterns and Links with Institutions and Conflict

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  • Leonardo Gasparini
  • Matias Horenstein
  • Ezequiel Molina
  • Sergio Olivieri

Abstract

This paper presents a set of statistics that characterize the degree of income polarization in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The study is based on a dataset of household surveys from 21 LAC countries in the period 1989-2004. Latin America is characterized by a high level of income polarization. On average, income polarization mildly increased in the region in the period under analysis. The paper suggests that institutions and conflict interact in different ways with the various characteristics of the income distribution. In particular, countries with high income polarization and inequality are more likely to have high levels of social conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Gasparini & Matias Horenstein & Ezequiel Molina & Sergio Olivieri, 2008. "Income Polarization in Latin America: Patterns and Links with Institutions and Conflict," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 461-484.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:36:y:2008:i:4:p:461-484 DOI: 10.1080/13600810802457365
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Mastruzzi, Massimo, 2005. "Governance matters IV : governance indicators for 1996-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3630, The World Bank.
    2. Christiaan Grootaert & Thierry Van Bastelar, 2002. "Understanding and Measuring Social Capital : A Multidisciplinary Tool for Practitioners," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14098.
    3. Per Eklund & Katsushi Imai & Fabrizio Felloni, 2007. "Women's organisations, maternal knowledge, and social capital to reduce prevalence of stunted children: Evidence from rural Nepal," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(3), pages 456-489.
    4. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fernando Borraz & Nicolás Gonzalez Pampillón & Máximo Rossi, 2011. "Polarization and the Middle Class," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 2011, Department of Economics - dECON.
    2. Wang, Jinxian & Caminada, Koen & Goudswaard, Kees & Wang, Chen, 2015. "Decomposing income polarization and tax-benefit changes across 31 European countries and Europe wide, 2004-2012," MPRA Paper 66155, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillermo Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli & Mariana Marchionni, 2009. "A Turning Point? Recent Developments on Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0081, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    4. Fernando Borraz & Nicolás González & Máximo Rossi, 2013. "Polarization and the Middle Class in Uruguay," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 50(2), pages 289-326, November.
    5. Morrow, John & Carter, Michael, 2013. "Left, right, left: income, learning and political dynamics," MPRA Paper 45020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wang, Chen & Wan, Guanghua, 2015. "Income polarization in China: Trends and changes," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 58-72.
    7. Michael Carter & John Morrow, 2012. "Left, Right, Left: Income and Political Dynamics in Transition Economies," CEP Discussion Papers dp1111, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Ernesto Cárdenas, 2013. "Social polarization and conflict: A network approach," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID.

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