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Poverty, inequality, and social policies in Peru: As poor as it gets


  • Gustavo Yamada

    (Universidad del Pacífico)

  • Juan Francisco Castro

    (Universidad del Pacífico)


This paper analyzes trends in poverty, income inequality and social policies in Peru in the last twenty years. Our objective is to explain what lies behind the generalized perception and complain by Peruvians that welfare and living standards have not got any better in at least two generations. We find problems in several fronts: lower expenditure than the average in the region, which could explain restrictions in coverage and quality of services, but also problems related to targeting, delivery of services, and overlapping, and deficient design and choice of effective programs. We also discuss why is that social policies have failed to deliver crucial assets for short, and specially, long term poverty and inequality alleviation in Peru, and present some guidelines to improve social policy design and implementation in Peru given past lessons, with special emphasis on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) framework as a tool for policy planning, design, and costing.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Yamada & Juan Francisco Castro, 2007. "Poverty, inequality, and social policies in Peru: As poor as it gets," Working Papers 07-06, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
  • Handle: RePEc:pai:wpaper:07-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gustavo Yamada, 2006. "Retornos a la educación superior en el mercado laboral: ¿Vale la pena el esfuerzo?," Working Papers 06-13, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    2. David Stifel & Harold Alderman, 2006. "The "Glass of Milk" Subsidy Program and Malnutrition in Peru," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(3), pages 421-448.
    3. Singh, S K & Maddala, G S, 1976. "A Function for Size Distribution of Incomes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(5), pages 963-970, September.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1973. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198281931.
    5. Anton Korinek & Johan Mistiaen & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "Survey nonresponse and the distribution of income," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(1), pages 33-55, April.
    6. Juan F. Castro & Gustavo Yamada, 2006. "Evaluación de estrategias de desarrollo para alcanzar los objetivos del milenio en América Latina," Working Papers 06-11, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    7. Santiago Cueto & Marjorie Chinen, 2001. "Impacto educativo de un programa de desayunos escolares en escuelas rurales del Perú," Documentos de Investigación dt34, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE).
    8. Juan F. Castro, 2006. "Política fiscal y gasto social en el Perú: Cuánto se ha avanzado y qué más se puede hacer para reducir la vulnerabilidad de los hogares," Working Papers 06-05, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gustavo Yamada & Juan Castro, 2009. "Educational attainment, growth and poverty reduction within the MDG framework: simulations and costing for the Peruvian case," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 57-73.
    2. Mya Sherman & James Ford & Alejandro Llanos-Cuentas & María Valdivia & Alejandra Bussalleu, 2015. "Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of community food systems in the Peruvian Amazon: a case study from Panaillo," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 77(3), pages 2049-2079, July.
    3. Juan F. Castro & Jessica Baca & Juan P. Ocampo, 2012. "(Re)Counting the Poor in Peru: A Multidimensional Approach," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 49(1), pages 37-65, May.
    4. Yamada, Gustavo & Castro, Juan & Bacigalupo, José, 2012. "Desigualdad monetaria en un contexto de rápido crecimiento económico: El caso reciente del Perú," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 24, pages 65-77.
    5. García, Juan & Céspedes, Nikita, 2011. "Pobreza y crecimiento económico: tendencias durante la década del 2000," Working Papers 2011-021, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.


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