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Inequality in Latin America: Processes and Inputs

  • Patricia Justino

    ()

    (Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, Department of Economics, University of Sussex)

  • Arnab Acharya

    ()

    (Institute of Development Studies, Universtity of Sussex)

This paper analyses the multidimensional aspects of inequality. The paper discusses the concept of inequality along three types of processes – economic (income, employment and access to physical assets), social (access to health, education and social security) and political (access to political power and to legal institutions) -, and three different dimensions – regional, rural/urban and across population groups (different gender, different ethnicity and different race). The paper examines in detail the determinants of those types and dimensions of inequality and provides a conceptual framework for explaining the incidence and persistence of inequalities in Latin America at the levels described above. This framework is illustrated in two case studies: Brazil and Peru. The paper shows how inequalities can arise from unequal distribution systems, the existence of different opportunities and choices for different population groups and forms of discrimination. It is thus argued that an effective reduction of economic, social and political inequalities in Latin America can only be achieved via the implementation of a three-tier system of policies that would include (i) the establishment of progressive tax systems, (ii) the promotion of equal opportunities and (iii) the reduction of discrimination in all areas of society.

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File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/PRU/wps/wp22.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Sussex in its series Working Paper Series with number 22.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pru:wpaper:22
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  1. Denisard Alves & Christopher Timmins, 2001. "Social Exclusion and the Two-Tiered Healthcare System of Brazil," Research Department Publications 3132, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Carlos A. Azzoni & Naercio Menezes-Filho & Tatiana de Menezes & Raúl Silveira-Neto, 2000. "Geography and Income Convergence among Brazilian States," Research Department Publications 3096, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  3. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James J. Heckman & V. Joseph Hotz, 1986. "An Investigation of the Labor Market Earnings of Panamanian Males Evaluating the Sources of Inequality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 507-542.
  5. Ahmad, Ehtisham, 1991. "Social Security and the Poor: Choices for Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(1), pages 105-27, January.
  6. Behrman, Jere R & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1984. "The Socioeconomic Impact of Schooling in a Developing Country," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(2), pages 296-303, May.
  7. Jere R. Behrman & Alejandro Gaviria & Miguel Székely, 2002. "Social Exclusion in Latin America: Introduction and Overview," Research Department Publications 3141, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  8. Alejandro Gaviria & Momi Dahan, 1999. "Sibling Correlations and Social Mobility in Latin America," Research Department Publications 4162, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  9. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  10. Barr, Nicholas, 1992. "Economic Theory and the Welfare State: A Survey and Interpretation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 741-803, June.
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