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Income inequality in Latin America: news from the 20th century

Monday November 13, 2017, at 13:30
Room Fred Halliday 24.133 (First floor). Mercè Rodoreda building 24
Research seminar

Latin America has always been tagged as “different” due to its unusually high inequality and, more recently, for its remarkable path towards more equality. From an historical perspective, two views dominate the discussion of the region's inequality. One view claims that the persistence of extractive institutions resulted in lower economic development outcomes and high inequality in the region since colonial times. In contrast, an alternative view argues that inequality was far from constant in the region, especially during the 20th century, highlighting the role of factor endowments, structural and institutional changes, and the integration in world markets. This seminar will present recent inequality findings based on a new set of consistent long-term estimates of pre-fisc earnings and wage premiums for Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela.

Pablo Astorga is an economist with considerable academic and market-oriented experience in the analysis of developing countries. He was senior economist for Oxford Economics from 2001 to 2009, having under his responsibility the assessment and forecast of the Latin American economies and the management of various consultancy projects. Prior to that he was a research fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. His research has focused on the study of economic development in Latin America over the long run, including income inequality, economic growth and productivity. The outcome of this research has been published in Journal of Development Economics and The Economic History Review among others.