IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/inq/inqwps/ecineq2012-266.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: the Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Nora Lustig

    (Tulane University)

  • Luis F. Lopez-Calva

    (World Bank)

  • Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez

    (UNDP)

Abstract

Between 2000 and 2010, the Gini coefficient declined in 13 of 17 Latin American countries. 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 and Mexico suggest two main phenomena underlie this trend: a fall in the premium to skilled labor and more progressive government transfers. The fall in the premium to skills resulted from a combination of supply, demand, and institutional factors. Their relative importance depends on the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2012. "Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: the Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico," Working Papers 266, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  • Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-266
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ecineq.org/milano/WP/ECINEQ2012-266.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Juan Pablo Atal & Hugo Nopo & Natalia Winder, 2009. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4640, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    3. Mariano Bosch & Marco Manacorda, 2010. "Minimum Wages and Earnings Inequality in Urban Mexico," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 128-149, October.
    4. Gasparini, Leonardo & Galiani, Sebastian & Cruces, Guillermo & Acosta, Pablo A., 2011. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 6244, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Raymundo Campos & Gerado Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989-2010," Working Papers 1201, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    6. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2010. "Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: The Role of Demand and Supply of Skills," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 307-326, January.
    7. Lars Christian Moller, 2012. "Fiscal Policy in Colombia," World Bank Publications - Reports 26883, The World Bank Group.
    8. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Inchauste, Gabriela & Sanfelice, Viviane, 2013. "Decomposing the recent inequality decline in Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6715, The World Bank.
    9. Diego Battistón & Carolina García-Domench & Leonardo Gasparini, 2014. "Could an Increase in Education Raise Income Inequality? Evidence for Latin America," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 51(1), pages 1-39, May.
    10. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Jose R. Molinas Vega & Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2580, September.
    11. Cruces, Guillermo & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2011. "Inequality in Education: Evidence for Latin America," WIDER Working Paper Series 093, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. 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 - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2597, December.
    13. repec:idb:brikps:60098 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Juan Pablo Atal & Hugo Nopo & Natalia Winder, 2009. "New Century, Old Disparities: Gender and Ethnic Wage Gaps in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4640, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    15. Jos� Antonio Ocampo & Juliana Vallejo, 2012. "Economic Growth, Equity and Human Development in Latin America," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 107-133, February.
    16. Guillermo Cruces & Leonardo Gasparini, 2008. "A Distribution in Motion: The Case of Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0078, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    17. David De Ferranti & Guillermo E. Perry & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2004. "Inequality in Latin America : Breaking with History?," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 15009, December.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Giovanni Andrea Cornia, 2010. "Income Distribution under Latin America's New Left Regimes," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 85-114.
    21. Lerman, Robert I & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1985. "Income Inequality Effects by Income," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 151-156, February.
    22. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-10 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Bound, John & Johnson, George, 1992. "Changes in the Structure of Wages in the 1980's: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 371-392, June.
    24. Ravallion, M. & Datt, G., 1991. "Growth and Redistribution Components of Changes in Poverty Measures," Papers 83, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    25. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2011. "The Decline in Inequality in Latin America: How Much, Since When and Why," Working Papers 1118, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    2. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez & Célestin Monga, 2016. "Deconstructing the Decline in Inequality in Latin America," International Economic Association Series, in: Kaushik Basu & Joseph E. Stiglitz (ed.), Inequality and Growth: Patterns and Policy, chapter 7, pages 212-247, Palgrave Macmillan.
    3. Fernández, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2018. "Skill premium, labor supply, and changes in the structure of wages in Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 555-573.
    4. Gasparini, Leonardo & Galiani, Sebastian & Cruces, Guillermo & Acosta, Pablo A., 2011. "Educational Upgrading and Returns to Skills in Latin America: Evidence from a Supply-Demand Framework, 1990-2010," IZA Discussion Papers 6244, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Raymundo Campos & Gerado Esquivel & Nora Lustig, 2012. "The Rise and Fall of Income Inequality in Mexico, 1989-2010," Working Papers 1201, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    6. Fernandez Sierra, Manuel & Messina, Julián, 2017. "Skill Premium, Labor Supply and Changes in the Structure of Wages in Latin America," IZA Discussion Papers 10718, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Nora Lustig, 2020. "Inequality and Social Policy in Latin America," Commitment to Equity (CEQ) Working Paper Series 94, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    8. Bruno Martorano, 2018. "Taxation and Inequality in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Recent Experience of Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 256-273, March.
    9. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    10. -, 2014. "Estudio Económico de América Latina y el Caribe 2014: desafíos para la sostenibilidad del crecimiento en un nuevo contexto externo," Estudio Económico de América Latina y el Caribe, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 36970 edited by Cepal.
    11. -, 2014. "Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2014: Challenges to sustainable growth in a new external context," Estudio Económico de América Latina y el Caribe, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 37033 edited by Eclac.
    12. Binelli Chiara, 2015. "How the wage-education profile got more convex: evidence from Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 509-560, July.
    13. Bruno Martorano, 2018. "Taxation and Inequality in Developing Countries: Lessons from the Recent Experience of Latin America," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 256-273, March.
    14. Louise Cord & Oscar Barriga†Cabanillas & Leonardo Lucchetti & Carlos Rodríguez†Castelán & Liliana D. Sousa & Daniel Valderrama, 2017. "Inequality Stagnation in Latin America in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 157-181, February.
    15. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Davalos, Maria Eugenia & Diaz-Bonilla, Carolina & Atuesta, Bernardo & Castaneda, Raul Andres, 2013. "Fifteen years of inequality in Latin America : how have labor markets helped ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6384, The World Bank.
    16. Ferreira,Francisco H. G. & Firpo,Sergio P. & Messina,Julian, 2017. "Ageing poorly? : accounting for the decline in earnings inequality in Brazil, 1995-2012," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8018, The World Bank.
    17. Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez & Nora Lustig, 2017. "Labour income inequality in Mexico: Puzzles solved and unsolved," Working Papers 1719, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
    18. Rodríguez Weber, Javier, 2018. "Alta Desigualdad en América Latina: desde cuándo y por qué [High inequality in Latin America: since when and why?]," MPRA Paper 87619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Almas Heshmati, 2006. "Continental And Sub-Continental Income Inequality," The IUP Journal of Applied Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1), pages 7-52, January.
    20. Carmen Pagés & Claudia Piras, 2010. "The Gender Dividend: Capitalizing on Women's Work," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 80095 edited by Nancy Morrison, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; skill premium; government transfers; progressivity; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2012-266. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ecineea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Maria Ana Lugo (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ecineea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.