nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2024‒03‒11
five papers chosen by

  1. Functional income distribution in Uruguay (1870 – 1908). A methodological note By Pablo Marmissolle; Henry Willebald
  2. The Interaction of Economic and Political Inequality in Latin America By Fergusson, Leopoldo; Robinson, James; Torres, Santiago
  3. Gender Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean By Inés Berniell; Raquel Fernández; Sonya Krutikova
  4. Gender pay gap in a highly qualified sector: evidence from administrative data By Nina Giordano; Cecilia Parada; Mijail Yapor
  5. Education Inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean By Raquel Fernández; Carmen Pagés; Miguel Szekely; Ivonne Acevedo

  1. By: Pablo Marmissolle (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Henry Willebald (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)
    Abstract: We describe the methodology and sources used to estimate the functional income distribution series in Uruguay for the period prior to the 1908 census. We show the estimates and splices made to obtain continuous series with an annual frequency for the period 1870–1908. Income is decomposed, in functional terms, into wages, land rents, mixed capital-labour incomes, and profits. Given the extended time frame and diversity of available sources, we first describe the methodology used to estimate each income component in 1880-1908, followed by the estimation method for 1870-1880. The results indicate that the main changes in the distribution are observed between profits and wages. Until the outbreak of the crisis in 1890, there was a clear upward trend in the profit share, the counterpart of which was a decline in the wage share. After the crisis, the trends reversed. From 1894 onwards, both shares showed a stable trend until the end of the period, although significant variations in their levels can be observed. Land revenue represented 20% of income until 1883; its share of income fell in 1884-1887, after which it stabilised at approximately 16%. Mixed incomes maintained a relatively stable income share of around 7%.
    Keywords: functional income distribution, national accounts, Uruguay
    JEL: D33 N56 N36
    Date: 2023–12
  2. By: Fergusson, Leopoldo (Universidad de los Andes); Robinson, James (University of Chicago); Torres, Santiago (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We investigate how economic inequality can persist in Latin America in the context of radical falls in political inequality in the last decades. Using data from Colombia, we focus on a critical facet of democratization - the entry of new politicians. We show that initial levels of inequality play a significant role in determining the impact of political entry on local institutions, policy, and development outcomes, which can impact future inequality. A vicious circle emerges whereby policies that reduce inequality are less likely to be adopted and implemented in places with relatively high inequality. We present evidence that this is caused both by the capture of new politicians and barriers to institution and state capacity building, and also by the fact that politicians committed to redistribution are less likely to win in relatively unequal places. Our results, therefore, help to reconcile the persistence of economic inequality with the new political context.
    Keywords: inequality; political entry; public policy; development.
    JEL: D72 D78 H40 H50 P00
    Date: 2024–02–22
  3. By: Inés Berniell; Raquel Fernández; Sonya Krutikova
    Abstract: This paper examines gender inequality focusing on two critical spheres in which gender inequality is generated: education and work. Our objective is to provide a current snapshot of gender inequality across key indicators as well as a dynamic perspective that highlights successes and failures. We facilitate a cross-country comparison as well by grouping countries within Latin America by their level of economics development and drawing comparisons with countries outside the region. Finally, we reflect on differences in the ways that gender inequalities play out across different socio-economic groups, particularly those that highlight other sources of inequality.
    JEL: J16 O10 Z13
    Date: 2024–02
  4. By: Nina Giordano (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Departamento de Métodos Cuantitativos); Cecilia Parada (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Mijail Yapor (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Estadística)
    Abstract: This paper studies the existence of gender pay gaps within the highly skilled profession of medicine in Uruguay. We focus on understanding whether the way an occupation is structured may impact income equality. We use administrative data from the Human Resources Control and Analysis System (SCARH) database, published by the Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay. We estimate the gross and conditional gender pay gaps among physicians for the entire period between 2008 and 2018. Furthermore, we evaluated two potential mechanisms that could explain part of the differences in physician earnings, specifically horizontal segregation (the concentration of women in certain specialities with lower salaries) and vertical segregation (the under representation of women in top hierarchical positions). Our results indicate differences in labour income between female and male physicians, and that horizontal and vertical segregation play a role in explaining these gaps.Length: 33 pages
    Keywords: gender pay gaps, highly prestigious occupations, physicians, segregation
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J7
    Date: 2023–09
  5. By: Raquel Fernández; Carmen Pagés; Miguel Szekely; Ivonne Acevedo
    Abstract: Education is a crucial asset for a country’s economic prospects and for its inhabitants. In addition to its direct impact on growth via the accumulation of human capital, it is a critical ingredient in producing an informed citizenry, enhancing their ability to obtain and exert human and political rights and their facility to adapt to changing environments (generated by, e.g., technological or climatic change) among other benefits. In this paper, we study education inequality in LAC (both in quantity and quality), assess how it emerges and amplifies or dampens existing inequalities, and examine the interaction of education inequality with other forms of inequality, primarily income and labor market outcomes. Our analysis is based on primary data from multiple sources.
    JEL: I20 O15
    Date: 2024–02

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.