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Latin America's Income Inequality Under five Political Regimes, 1870-2018

Giovanni Cornia ()

Working Papers - Economics from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa

Abstract: Most analysts of the Latin American economy believe in the unavoidable persistence of high income and wealth inequality in the region due to a continued structural dependence on primary commodities, the lingering effects of colonial policies, and the emergence of a modernized version of the traditional elites. This paper challenges this view on political economic grounds. It argues that the changes observed over the last one hundred and fifty years in the political orientation of governments affected the nature of economic and social policies that, in their turn, influenced the level of income inequality, both upward and downward. In other words, the evolution of inequality has depended to a considerable extent on ideological and political changes that need to be fully understood. This paper tries to explore this circular relation between `political orientation' of governments and `inequality', and between ‘endogenous changes in economic/social conditions' and `changes in the political orientation of governments'.

Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-his, nep-hpe, nep-pke and nep-pol
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