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Dynamics of Poverty, Labor Market and Public Policies in Latin America


  • Luis Beccaria
  • Roxana Maurizio
  • Ana Laura Fernandez
  • Paula Monsalvo
  • Mariana Alvarez


Latin America experienced six years of sustained growth from 2003-2008. The high rate of economic growth over these years – before the 2008-2009 crisis – positively impacted social and labour market indicators. Evidence of these positive impacts can be seen in the form of job creation (particularly formal occupations), reduced unemployment and a slight recovery of average wages. During the period of interest, the rates of poverty and extreme poverty in the region respectively fell by 11 and 6 percentage points (p.p.). It is highly pertinent, in this context, to study the dynamics of poverty in the region and to analyze the flows into and out of poverty that accompanied this significant reduction in poverty. The main objective of this paper is to carry out a comparative study of poverty dynamics in five Latin American countries. The study specifically aims to analyze the extent to which countries with various levels of poverty incidence differ in terms of the intensity of poverty exits and entries, identify the relative importance of events associated with poverty transitions (such as factors in the labour market, demographic change and public policy), and finally, this study aims to examine the ways in which these events affect households with different characteristics.In order to achieve these objectives, we perform a dynamic analysis of panel data from regular household surveys. Of the five countries included in the study, Argentina and Costa Rica are found to have a relatively low incidence of poverty, Brazil is in an intermediary situation in this regard, while relatively high rates of poverty are found in Ecuador and Peru. This heterogeneous selection gives us a varied picture of social deprivation in the region.This dynamic analysis is useful for policy recommendations to overcome high poverty levels in the region, both by reducing the probability of falling into poverty and increasing the chances of moving out of poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Beccaria & Roxana Maurizio & Ana Laura Fernandez & Paula Monsalvo & Mariana Alvarez, 2011. "Dynamics of Poverty, Labor Market and Public Policies in Latin America," Working Papers PMMA 2011-05, PEP-PMMA.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:pmmacr:2011-05

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    Cited by:

    1. Calero, Analía V. & Sorokin, Isidoro, 2013. "Condiciones de trabajo y calidad del empleo en la Provincia de Buenos Aires. Análisis de los determinantes de los puestos de trabajo con bajas remuneraciones en el período 2003 – 2011
      [Working cond
      ," MPRA Paper 51153, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Fabio, Bertranou & Roxana, Maurizio, 2011. "The role of labour market and social protection in reducing inequality and eradicating poverty in Latin America," MPRA Paper 39843, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Luis Beccaria & Roxana Maurizio & Ana Fernández & Paula Monsalvo & Mariana Álvarez, 2013. "Urban poverty and labor market dynamics in five Latin American countries: 2003–2008," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 11(4), pages 555-580, December.
    4. Rocío García Díaz & Daniel Prudencio, 2017. "A long-term employment index for Mexico," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 32(1), pages 133-165.

    More about this item


    Poverty dynamics; Latin America; Labour market; Social policy;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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