When Did Latin America Fall Behind?.Evidence From Long-Run International Inequality
When did Latin America fall behind?. Has the gap between developed countries and Latin America widened over time?. This paper addresses these recurrent questions with the tools provided by the inequality literature. Long-run inter-country inequality is assessed in terms of real (purchasing power-adjusted) GDP per head and of an ‘improved’ human development index as an indicator of welfare for present-day OECD and Latin America. A long term rise in income inequality is observed for this sample of countries with the deepening gap between OECD and Latin America as its main determinant. Contrary to a widespread view, in terms of income, Latin America fell behind in the late twentieth century. Inequality in terms of human development declined over time, but the gap between OECD and Latin America remained largely unchanged.
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