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Poverty, Inequality, and Trade and Financial Liberalization in Latin America

  • Jere R. Behrman
  • Nancy Birdsall
  • Miguel Székely

(Available only in Spanish) This work attempts to answer the question: How has trade and financial liberalization affected inequality and poverty in Latin America? To do this, we use a methodology to estimate the effect of economic liberalization on inequality and poverty, and apply it to a database developed from 93 household surveys in 17 Latin American countries, with information from 1977 to 2000. The two most important results are, first, that trade liberalization does not seem to have had distinguishable effects on changes in inequality and poverty in the region during the 1980s and 1990s. If it had any effect, it was negative (progressive) but insignificant from the statistical point of view. The second result is that financial liberalization has had a significant effect on increasing inequality and poverty.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4261.

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Date of creation: May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4261
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