IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Decline in Inequality in Latin America: How Much, Since When and Why

  • Nora Lustig


    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Luis F. Lopez-Calva


    (Poverty and Gender Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean, the World Bank)

  • Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez


    (Poverty, Human Development and Millennium Development Goal Unit, Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP))

Between 2000 and 2009, the Gini coefficient declined in 13 of 17 Latin American countries for which comparable data exist. The decline was statistically significant and robust to changes in the time interval, inequality measures and data sources. In depth country studies for Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru suggest that there are two phenomena which underlie this trend: (i) a fall in the premium to skilled labor (as measured by returns to education); and (ii) higher and more progressive government transfers. The fall in the premium to skills results from a combination of supply and demand factors and, in Argentina and, to a lesser extent, in Brazil, from more active labor market policies as well.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Tulane University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1118.

in new window

Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1118
Contact details of provider: Postal: 206 Tilton Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118
Phone: (504) 865-5321
Fax: (504) 865-5869
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1986. "Remittances and Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(383), pages 722-40, September.
  2. repec:idb:brikps:60098 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. David De Ferranti & Guillermo E. Perry & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Michael Walton, 2004. "Inequality in Latin America : Breaking with History?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15009.
  4. Marco Manacorda & Carolina Sanchez-Paramo & Norbert Schady, 2005. "Changes in Returns to Education in Latin America: the Role of Demand and Supply of Skills," CEP Discussion Papers dp0712, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Leite, Phillippe G. & Wai-Poi, Matthew, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Employment Flows and Wage Inequality in Brazil," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Leonardo Gasparini & Guillermo Cruces & Leopoldo Tornarolli & Mariana Marchionni, 2009. "A Turning Point? Recent Developments on Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0081, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  7. Ricardo Paes de Barros & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Jose R. Molinas Vega & Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi, 2009. "Measuring Inequality of Opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2580.
  8. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597.
  9. Ferreira, Francisco H.G. & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Global poverty and inequality : a review of the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4623, The World Bank.
  10. Guillermo Cruces & Leonardo Gasparini, 2008. "A Distribution in Motion: The Case of Argentina," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0078, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. User:The Vintage Feminist/Temp2 in Wikipedia English ne '')
  2. Nora Lustig in Wikipedia English ne '')
  3. Nora Lustig in Wikipedia Spanish ne '')

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1118. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sean Higgins)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.