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El trimestre económico

versão On-line ISSN 2448-718Xversão impressa ISSN 0041-3011


SERRANO, Joaquín  e  BENZAQUEN, Ivana. The Inequality Possibility frontier in Latin America. El trimestre econ [online]. 2017, vol.84, n.334, pp.427-461. ISSN 2448-718X.


This paper presents new evidence of the inequality possibility frontier and the inequality extraction ratio (the percentage of total inequality that was extracted by global elites) of Latin America (LA) in the last two decades. Moreover, we explore the relevance of the inequality extraction ratio (IER) in the analysis of social conflict, institutional instability and corruption.


Estimation of IER and Gini index for 18 Latin American countries in the period 1990-2013, using household surveys. Estimation of multivariate econometric models with fixed effects to analyze the relationship between income distribution and indicators of social conflict.


AL improves two positions in the ranking of global inequality using the IER instead of Gini index. Within Latin America there is a process of convergence in levels of inequality, but the two measures evolve differently: while the Gini index increases in the 90s and decreases in the 2000s, the IER decreases through-out the entire period. In addition, we found a positive association between IER and social conflict.


Using the IER, LA is not as unequal as with the Gini index. Moreover, countries in LA with high rates of IER are more likely to have high levels of social conflict.

Palavras-chave : inequality; inequality possibility frontier; inequality extraction ratio; Latin America.

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