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Stability and Vulnerability of the Latin American Middle Class

Florencia Torche and Luis F. López-Calva

No wp-2012-098, WIDER Working Paper Series from World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER)

Abstract: Using panel datasets from Mexico and Chile for the 2000s, we examine the determinants of middle-class intra-generational mobility. We define the middle class by means of a latent index of economic wellbeing that is less sensitive to short-term fluctuation and measurement error than standard measures of income. We find high rates of both upward and downward mobility in Mexico and Chile, indicating that the middle class has the opportunity to move to higher levels of wellbeing but it is also vulnerable to falling into poverty.

Keywords: Households; Human capital; Labor market (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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