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Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010

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Abstract

The paper reviews the steady and widespread decline in income inequality which has taken place in most of Latin America over 2002-10 and which––if continued for another 2-3 years––would reduce the average regional income inequality to pre-liberalization levels. The paper then focuses on the factors, which may explain such inequality decline. A review of the literature and an econometric test indicate that a few complementary factors played an important role in this regard, including a drop in the skill premium following a rapid expansion of secondary education, and the adoption of a new development model by a growing number of left-of-centre governments which emphasizes fiscally-prudent but more equitable macroeconomic, tax, social expenditure and labour policies. For the region as a whole, improvements in terms of trade, migrant remittances, FDI and world growth played a less important role than expected although their impact was perceptible in countries where such transactions were sizeable.

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  • Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2012. "Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010," Working Papers - Economics wp2012_02.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  • Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2012_02.rdf
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010
      by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-03-12 18:35:00
    2. Inequality Trends and their Determinants: Latin America over 1990-2010
      by Maximo Rossi in Wikiprogress América Latina on 2012-03-05 23:43:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2017. "Caught In The Middle? The Economics Of Middle-Income Traps," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 771-791, July.
    2. José Gabriel Palma, 2016. "Do nations just get the inequality they deserve? The ‘Palma Ratio’ re-examined," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1627, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea, 2014. "Income inequality in Latin America. Recent decline and prospects for its further reduction," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 149, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    4. Maria Eugenia Bonilla-Chacin & Luis T Marcano Vazquez & Ricardo Sierra & Ursula Aldana, 2014. "Dietary Patterns and Non-Communicable Diseases in Selected Latin American Countries," Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Discussion Paper Series 80559, The World Bank.
    5. Mauricio Vargas & Santiago Garriga, 2015. "Explaining Inequality and Poverty Reduction in Bolivia," IMF Working Papers 15/265, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Buendía García, Luis & Sanabria Martín, Antonio, 2013. "Productive Structure, Political Cycle And Inequality: The Case Of Uruguay, 2004-2011," Revista Galega de Economía, University of Santiago de Compostela. Faculty of Economics and Business., vol. 22(ex).
    7. repec:eee:ecanpo:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:169-178 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Malena Arcidiácono, 2015. "Salario Mínimo y Distribución salarial: Evidencia para Argentina 2003 – 2013," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0192, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    9. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2015. "Gender equality and economic growth in Brazil: A long-run analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 155-172.
    10. Seguino, Stephanie & Braunstein, Elissa, 2012. "The impact of economic policy and structural change on gender employment inequality in Latin America, 1990-2010," MPRA Paper 43261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. repec:aru:wpaper:201304 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Pierre-Richard AGENOR, 2016. "Caught in the Middle? The Economics of Middle-Income Traps," Working Papers P142, FERDI.
    13. Maurizio Franzini & Mario Pianta, 2015. "Four engines of inequality," LEM Papers Series 2015/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Evridiki Tsounta & Anayochukwu Osueke, 2014. "What is Behind Latin America’s Declining Income Inequality?," IMF Working Papers 14/124, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Martner Fanta, Ricardo & González, Ivonne, 2012. "Overcoming the empty box syndrome": eterminants of income distribution in Latin America"," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), December.
    16. Pedro Mendes Loureiro, 2016. "Reformism, Class Conciliation And The Pink Tide: Prospects For The Working Classes Under Left-Of-Centre Governments In Latin America," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 020, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    17. Novy, Andreas, 2015. "A Good Life for all - A European development model," SRE-Discussion Papers 4565, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    18. Carlos Villalobos Barría, 2012. "Sectorial shifts and Inequality. How to relate macroeconomic events to inequality changes," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 219, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
    19. Maurizio Franzini & Mario Pianta, 2015. "The making of inequality.Capital, labour and the distribution of income," Working Papers 1507, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2015.
    20. Roberto Angulo & Alejandro Gaviria & Gustavo Nicolás Páez & Joao Pedro Azevedo, 2012. "Movilidad social en Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 010323, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    21. Roxana Maurizio, 2015. "Transitions to Formality and Declining Inequality: Argentina and Brazil in the 2000s," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(5), pages 1047-1079, September.
    22. Luis, Beccaria & Roxana, Maurizio & Vazquez, Gustavo, 2014. "Recent changes in wage inequality in Argentina. The role of labor formalization and other factors," MPRA Paper 56701, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; human capital inequality; policy regimes; external conditions; Latin America;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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