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¿Qué hay detrás de la desigualdad cuantificada: investigación empleando datos de América Latina

  • Miguel Székely
  • Marianne Hilgert
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    (Disponible en idioma inglés únicamente) El uso de indicadores de la distribución del ingreso en la obra publicada sobre Economía ha venido aumentado considerablemente en los últimos años. En este trabajo se emplean encuestas de hogares de 18 países de América Latina y el Caribe, para adoptar una perspectiva más amplia en cuanto al uso de estos indicadores y se analiza lo que hay detrás de los números y qué información proporcionan. He aquí lo que se ha descubierto: a) la manera en que se clasifican los países de acuerdo a la desigualdad medida de un modo convencional es, en gran parte, una ilusión creada por las diferencias en las características de los datos y en las maneras específicas en que se manejan esos datos; b) nuestras ideas sobre los efectos de la desigualdad del crecimiento económico también son producto de las diferencias de calidad y cobertura de las encuestas de hogares y del modo en que se manejan los datos; c) las encuestas de hogares estándar en América Latina y el Caribe no pueden percibir el ingreso de los segmentos más ricos de la sociedad, así que lo más probable es que la desigualdad que se puede cuantificar no sea más que una gran subestimación. La conclusión principal es que detrás de cada cifra se oculta una circunstancia importante. Esta circunstancia influye en el juicio que se hace sobre la desigualdad de países y sobre la relación entre la desigualdad y otros indicadores del desarrollo, pero rara vez se menciona o se está al tanto de ella. Quizá otras estadísticas que se emplean normalmente en Economía también tengan sus propia circunstancias interesantes y puede que valga la pena tratar de discernir cuáles serán.

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    Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4189.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4189
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