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The decline in inequality in Latin America: How much, since when and why

  • Nora Lustig

    ()

    (Tulane University and Center for Global Development)

  • Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva

    ()

    (World Bank)

  • Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez

    ()

    (RBLAC-UNDP)

Between 2000 and 2009, the Gini coefficient declined in 13 of 17 Latin American countries for which comparable data exist. The decline was statistically significant and robust to changes in the time interval, inequality measures and data sources. In depth country studies for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru suggest that there are two phenomena which underlie this trend: (i) a fall in the premium to skilled labor (as measured by returns to education); and (ii) higher and more progressive government transfers. The fall in the premium to skills results from a combination of supply and demand factors and, in Argentina—and to a lesser extent in Brazil--, from more active labor market policies as well.

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File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2011-211.pdf
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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 211.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-211
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ecineq.orgEmail:


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  1. Guillermo Cruces & Leonardo Gasparini, 2008. "A Distribution in Motion: The Case of Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0078, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  2. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillermo Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli & Mariana Marchionni, 2009. "A Turning Point? Recent Developments on Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0081, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  3. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, October.
  4. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521023290 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Jaime Saavedra-Chanduví & José R. Molinas & Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H. G. Ferreira, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 60098.
  6. Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Wai-Poi, Matthew, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Employment Flows and Wage Inequality in Brazil," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  7. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2005. "Changes in returns to education in Latin America: the role of demand and supply of skills," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19874, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Global poverty and inequality : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4623, The World Bank.
  9. repec:idb:brikps:60098 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. David De Ferranti & Guillermo E. Perry & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2004. "Inequality in Latin America : Breaking with History?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15009, October.
  11. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-40, September.
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