IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measurement and characterization of the middle class in Latin America


  • Nancy Aireth DAZA BAEZ
  • Maria Fernanda CORTES


The present research aims to compare and improve the measurement and, therefore, the de finition of what "middle class" represents, for a group of countries in Latin America, namely Colombia,Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador, using a methodology based on the expenditure of households, compared to the most common approach that uses income as a referent variable. It looks for a de nition of middle class according to particularities inherent to Latin American social composition, and develops a characterization of the sample countries, according to the World Bank GDP (PPP- 2010) classi cation. Additionally, some ndings about wealth distribution are pinpointed using GINI measurements. For the proposed measurements, this study uses household survey data collected with similar objectives and techniques in each of the sample countries in order to quantify and qualify middle classes. Once de ned, the measurements will help governments of the region to re-focus or improve the design and implementation of their social programs and policies that aim to reduce economic opportunity gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy Aireth DAZA BAEZ & Maria Fernanda CORTES, 2013. "Measurement and characterization of the middle class in Latin America," Archivos de Economía 11206, Departamento Nacional de Planeación.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000118:011206

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Middle class; Latin America; Inequality; Income; Expenditure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:col:000118:011206. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Carlos Fernando Rincon Rojas (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.