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Development under conditions of inequality and distrust: Social cohesion in Latin America

  • Ferroni, Marco
  • Mateo, Mercedes
  • Payne, Mark

"This paper analyzes the role of social cohesion in economic and institutional development and, broadly, the creation of welfare in Latin America. The paper defines the concept of social cohesion with reference to the notions of social capital and inequality. Using data and literature on Latin America, the paper argues that low interpersonal trust and entrenched inequality interfere with cohesion. The paper develops and introduces an exploratory index of cohesion structured around the definition proposed. Relying on correlations, and with appropriate caveats, the paper uses this index to explore tentative linkages between levels of cohesion and development outcomes. The paper presents evidence of positive linkages among social cohesion and economic growth, investment and innovation capacity, governmental effectiveness, the quality of public policies, and the predictability of the policy environment. Finally, the paper discusses the significance of these findings and some of the policy implications." from Author's Abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 777.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:777
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  1. Cleaver, Frances, 2005. "The inequality of social capital and the reproduction of chronic poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 893-906, June.
  2. Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Rustichini, Aldo, 1991. "Social Conflict, Growth and Income Distribution," Working Papers 91-22, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Suzanne Duryea & Olga Lucia Jaramillo & Carmen Pagés-Serra, 2003. "Latin American Labor Markets in the 1990s: Deciphering the Decade," Research Department Publications 4331, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Bertola, Giuseppe, 1993. "Factor Shares and Savings in Endogenous Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1184-98, December.
  6. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1994. "The Political Economy of Growth: A Critical Survey of the Recent Literature," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(3), pages 351-71, September.
  8. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
  9. Antonio Avalos & Andreas Savvides, 2006. "The Manufacturing Wage Inequality in Latin America and East Asia: Openness, Technology Transfer, and Labor Supply," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 553-576, November.
  10. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2001. "Social Capital and Community Governance," Working Papers 01-01-003, Santa Fe Institute.
  11. Clarke, George R. G., 1995. "More evidence on income distribution and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 403-427, August.
  12. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Easterly, William, 2001. " The Middle Class Consensus and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 317-35, December.
  14. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1993. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 4486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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