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The Distribution of Income in Central America

Author

Listed:
  • Gindling, T. H.

    () (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

  • Trejos, Juan Diego

    () (University of Costa Rica)

Abstract

We document changes in income and earnings inequality in the five Central American countries from the early 1990s to 2009. In the 1990s Costa Rica had the most equal distribution of income in Central America, and one of the most equal distributions of income in Latin America. At the other extreme, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua were among the most unequal countries in Latin America. Inequality in El Salvador was between these extremes. Then, in the first decade of the 21st century inequality in El Salvador and Nicaragua decreased while inequality in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras increased. By 2009 levels of inequality in El Salvador and Nicaragua were similar to those in Costa Rica. In this paper, we examine why income and earning inequality differs between the five Central American countries, and why inequality decreased in El Salvador and Nicaragua but increased in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

Suggested Citation

  • Gindling, T. H. & Trejos, Juan Diego, 2013. "The Distribution of Income in Central America," IZA Discussion Papers 7236, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7236
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    Cited by:

    1. Hackman, Joseph & Maupin, Jonathan & Brewis, Alexandra A., 2016. "Weight-related stigma is a significant psychosocial stressor in developing countries: Evidence from Guatemala," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 55-60.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour income; income inequality; Central America;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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