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The distribution of income in Uruguay: the effects of economic and institutional reforms


  • Carlos Gradín

    () (Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Universidade de Vigo (Spain))

  • Máximo Rossi

    () (Departmento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)


This paper is concerned with distributive aspects of crucial economic and institutional reforms experienced by income sources in Uruguay after the late eighties. These reforms involved both, the labor market and the pensions system, and we provide empirical evidence about the different way they affected thedistribution of income. The distribution of income across all earners at the end of the eighties exhibited two well-distinguished poles, each associated with one income source. This bimodality faded with time during the nineties due to the general improvement in retirement pensions, vanishing polarization by income sources. For the same period we find in the case of labor earnings a net transfer of population mass from the middle of the distribution to both extremes, which results in increasing polarization within this income source.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Gradín & Máximo Rossi, 2001. "The distribution of income in Uruguay: the effects of economic and institutional reforms," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0301, Department of Economics - dECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0301

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joan Esteban & Carlos Gradin & Debraj Ray, 1999. "Extensions of a Measure of Polarization with an Application to the Income Distribution of Five OECD Countries," LIS Working papers 218, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    2. Marisa Bucheli & Máximo Rossi, 1994. "Distribución del ingreso en el Uruguay (1984-1992)," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1094, Department of Economics - dECON.
    3. Daniel Miles & Máximo Rossi, 1999. "Geographic concentration and structure of wages in developing countries: the case of Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1399, Department of Economics - dECON.
    4. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    5. Yitzhaki, Shlomo & Lerman, Robert I, 1991. "Income Stratification and Income Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 313-329, September.
    6. Wolfson, Michael C, 1994. "When Inequalities Diverge," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 353-358, May.
    7. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1994. "Economic distance and overlapping of distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 147-159, March.
    8. Wolfson, Michael C, 1997. "Divergent Inequalities: Theory and Empirical Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 401-421, December.
    9. D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2001. "Household Characteristics and the Distribution of Income in Italy: An Application of Social Distance Measures," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 43-64, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alvaro Forteza, 2004. "Uruguay, Options for Pensions Reform," Public Economics 0406002, EconWPA.
    2. Alvaro Forteza, 2004. "Uruguay, Pensions and Fiscal Sustainability," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0204, Department of Economics - dECON.

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