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Income Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Household Surveys

Author

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  • Leonardo Gasparini

    () (Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) FCE - UNLP)

Abstract

This paper reports information on income inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean computed from a sample of more than 50 household surveys from 20 LAC countries from 1989 to 2001. Although the core of the statistics is on household income inequality, we also report results on aggregate welfare and polarization. Inequality has moderately increased in South America in the last decade. The two main exceptions are Argentina, with a very large inequality increase, and Brazil, where inequality actually decreased. Changes have not been significant in Central America and the Caribbean. Aggregate welfare has increased in most countries fueled by economic growth and despite unequalizing distributional changes.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Gasparini, 2003. "Income Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean: Evidence from Household Surveys," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0002, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miguel Székely & Marianne Hilgert, 1999. "What's Behind the Inequality we Measure: An Investigation Using Latin American Data," Research Department Publications 4188, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradin & Debraj Ray, 1999. "Extensions of a Measure of Polarization with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 218, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    4. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-358, May.
    5. Trejos S., Juan Diego, 1999. "Reformas económicas y distribución del ingreso en Costa Rica," Series Históricas 37, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    6. Altimir, Oscar, 1994. "Income distribution and poverty through crisis and adjustment," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    7. Morley, Samuel A., 2001. "The income distribution problem in Latin America and the Caribbean," Libros de la CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 65 edited by Eclac, May.
    8. Cowell, F.A., 2000. "Measurement of inequality," Handbook of Income Distribution,in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 87-166 Elsevier.
    9. Leonardo Gasparini & Walter Sosa, 2001. "Assessing Aggregate Welfare: Growth and Inequality in Argentina," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 38(113), pages 49-71.
    10. Morley, S. & Vos, R.P., 1997. "Poverty and dualistic growth in Paraguay," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19004, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Walter Sosa Escudero & Anil K. Bera, 2008. "Tests for Unbalanced Error Component Models Under Local Misspecication," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0065, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    2. Diego Battiston & Francisco Franchetti, 2008. "Inequality in Health Coverage, Empirical Analysis with Microdata for Argentina 2006," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0063, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    3. Mariana Marchionni & Germán Bet & Ana Pacheco, 2007. "Empleo, Educación y Entorno Social de los Jóvenes: Una Nueva Fuente de Información," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0061, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    4. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2008. "Dolarización y Pobreza en Ecuador," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0066, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    5. Evelyn Vezza, 2004. "Poder de Mercado en las Profesiones Autorreguladas: El Desempeño Médico en Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0016, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    6. Maribel Jimenez & Monica Jimenez, 2009. "La Movilidad Intergeneracional del Ingreso: Evidencia para Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0084, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    7. Bogliacino, Francesco & Rojas Lozano, Daniel, 2017. "The evolution of inequality in Latin America in the 21st century: Patterns, drivers and causal hypotheses," MPRA Paper 77803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Paula Giovagnoli, 2007. "Failures in school progression," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0050, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    9. Ricardo Bebczuk, 2009. "SME Access to Credit in Guatemala and Nicaragua: Challenging Conventional Wisdom with New Evidence," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0080, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    10. Ricardo Bebczuk & Francisco Haimovich, 2007. "MDGs and Microcredit: An Empirical Evaluation for Latin American Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0048, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    11. repec:aru:wpaper:201304 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Sebastian Galiani & Federico Weinschelbaum, 2012. "Modeling Informality Formally: Households And Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 821-838, July.
    13. Leopoldo Tornarolli & Adriana Conconi, 2007. "Informalidad y Movilidad Laboral: Un Análisis Empírico para Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0059, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; distribution; income; wages; education; Latin America; Caribbean.;

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J82 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Labor Force Composition
    • N36 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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