Decreasing Inequality Under Latin America’s “Social Democratic” and “Populist” Governments: Is the Difference Real?
This paper addresses the claim that the governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela, Latin America’s so-called “left-populist” governments, have failed to effectively reduce inequality in the 2000s and have only benefitted from high commodity prices and other benign external conditions. In particular, it examines the econometric evidence presented by McLeod and Lustig (2011) that the “social democratic” governments of Brazil, Chile and Uruguay were more successful and finds that their original results are highly sensitive to the use of data from the Socioeconomic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean (SEDLAC).
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