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Income distribution in the Latin American Southern Cone during the first globalization boom, ca: 1870-1920

Javier Rodríguez Weber (), Henry Willebald (), Cecilia Castelnovo and Luis Bertola

IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola

Abstract: Latin America is the most unequal region in the world and there is a lively debate concerning the explanations and timing of such high levels of income inequality. Latin America was also the region, not including European Offshoots, which experienced the most rapid growth during the first globalization boom. It can, therefore, be taken as an interesting case study for how globalization forces impinged on growth and income distribution in peripheral regions. This paper presents a first estimate of income inequality in the Southern Cone of South America (Brazil 1872 and 1920, Chile 1870 and 1920, Uruguay 1920) and some assumptions concerning Argentina (1870 and 1920), and Uruguay (1870). We find an increasing inequality trend between 1870 and 1920 which can be explained as a process of inequality both within individual countries and between countries. This trend is discussed along three lines: the relation between inequality and per capita income levels; the dynamics of the expansion to new areas, and movements of relative factor prices and of the terms of trade.

Keywords: Globalization; Growth; Income; inequality; Latin; American; Southern; Cone; Regional; inequality; Terms; of; trade (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N36 N56 N76 N96 O15 Q17 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
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