Corruption, privatisation and the distribution of income in Latin America
This paper presents new evidence on income inequality in Latin America over the period 1981-2000. Using a panel data methodology, we find that a reduction in corruption is associated with a rise in inequality. This counterintuitive result can be explained by privatisation. Privatisation removes industries from government influence (and corruption) and worsens income inequality as new owners strive for efficiency and profits. The paper argues that structural reform policies aimed primarily at achieving positive and increasing growth rates do not adequately address the income distribution problem.
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