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Was Falling Inequality in All Latin American Countries a Data-Driven Illusion? Income Distribution and Mobility Patterns in Uruguay 2009-2016

Gabriel Burdín (), Mauricio De Rosa (), Andrea Vigorito and Joan Vilá ()
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Mauricio De Rosa: Universidad de la República, Uruguay
Joan Vilá: Universidad de la República, Uruguay

No 13070, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: To contribute to the debate on the recent inequality fall in Latin America, we provide evidence on the primary income distribution in Uruguay for 2009-2016 and assess mobility patterns. Comparing household surveys micro-data and a unique array of matched personal-firm income tax records, we find that trends are sensitive to the data source and inequality measure. Gini and Theil indices decreased, with a milder fall in tax records than in household surveys. Whereas in tax records synthetic indices fell within the bottom 99% offsetting increased concentration at the top, in household surveys the largest reduction occurred at the top. In turn, tax records estimates of top 1% income shares remained steady at around 15%, but decreased in household surveys throughout the whole period. Moreover, top income positions were stable, with average persistence rates at the top 1% close to 80%. Meanwhile, the equalizing effect of income mobility was very modest.

Keywords: top incomes; income inequality; mobility; personal income taxation; tax records; Uruguay (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 H24 O54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 56 pages
Date: 2020-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-lam, nep-ltv and nep-pbe
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Working Paper: Was falling inequality in all Latin American countries a data-driven illusion? Income distribution and mobility patterns in Uruguay 2009-2016 (2019) Downloads
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