nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2022‒08‒22
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Social spending and income inequality in Latin America. A panel data approach By Quinonez, Pablo
  2. Inclusion amid ethnic inequality: Insights from Brazil's social protection system By Natasha Borges Sugiyama

  1. By: Quinonez, Pablo
    Abstract: The relationship between social policy and inequality has often been contentious in Latin America. In this context, this article analysed the relationship between social spending and income inequality in the region in the short, medium, and long run. For this purpose, data on 16 Latin American countries between the period 1990-2017 was gathered and analysed through a panel data study. The results showed that, in line with the findings at a global level, increased levels of overall social spending are indeed associated with reduced levels of income inequality in this region. However, each one of the four main areas of social spending were observed to have different effects on income inequality. Additionally, the results showed that, despite the reforms and the increases in budgets, the social protection and social services systems still have problems reaching those at the bottom of the income distribution in the region.
    Keywords: Latin America; social spending; income inequality; panel data; social policy
    JEL: H5 I0
    Date: 2022–05–04
  2. By: Natasha Borges Sugiyama
    Abstract: Policy frames in Brazil have long run up against conflicting visions and understandings about the causes and consequences of group-based inequality. This paper argues that a class-based lens has dominated the social protection framework. In recent years, political leaders have framed social policy measures along 'universal' class lines with the aim of improving poverty and wellbeing. This framing is reflective of Brazil's national narrative on race relations and the idea that class and employment status have been the most salient barriers to social welfare protections.
    Keywords: Group-based inequality, Poverty, Race, Welfare, Inclusion, Brazil
    Date: 2022

This nep-lam issue is ©2022 by Maximo Rossi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.