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Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico

Author

Listed:
  • Nora Lustig

    (Department of Economics, Tulane University)

  • Luis F. Lopez-Calva

    (Poverty and Gender Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean Vice-presidency, 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))

Abstract

Between 2000 and 2010, the Gini coefficient declined in 13 of 17 Latin American countries. 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 and Mexico suggest two main phenomena underlie this trend: a fall in the premium to skilled labor and more progressive government transfers. The fall in the premium to skills resulted from a combination of supply, demand, and institutional factors. Their relative importance depends on the country.

Suggested Citation

  • Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2012. "Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico," Working Papers 1218, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tul:wpaper:1218
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income inequality; skill premium; government transfers; progressivity; Latin America;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean

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