Nº 38 (June, 2006). Leonardo Gasparini, Matías Horenstein & Sergio Olivieri. 

“Economic polarisation in Latin America and the Caribbean: what do household surveys tell us?”

This document presents and discusses an extensive set of statistics aimed at characterizing  the  degree  of  economic  polarisation  in  the  Latin  American and  Caribbean  (LAC)  countries.  The  study  is  based  on  a  dataset  of household surveys from 21 LAC  countries in the period 1989-2004. Latin America is characterised by a high level of economic polarisation, compared to  other  regions  in  the  world.  On  average,  income  polarisation  has  mildly increased  in  the  region  since  the  early  1990s.  The  country  experiences  in terms of income polarisation, however, have been heterogeneous. The region has moved forward toward the reduction of educational inequalities, while the gaps between the rich and the poor in terms of access to basic services (water and electricity) have been reduced.

JEL Code: I3, D3, D6

A version of this paper was published in Oxford Development Studies, 36 (4), pp. 461-484, December, 2008.