Latin America and Caribbean Inequality Review

LACIR is an independent scholarly endeavour created with the aim of understanding why, despite major structural economic and social change, inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean persists at exceptionally high levels.


The review will focus on inequality along various dimensions, including income, wealth, education, health, and political power.  



We study inequality in the region through five broad themes:

We hope that understanding the nature, causes and consequences of Latin America’s stable high-inequality equilibrium may provide a basis for action intended to make the region more equitable.
Levels and trends of inequality

Establishing the facts about levels and trends of inequality in outcomes

Inequality of opportunity

Analyzing the role of the family and communities in shaping inequality in outcomes and intergenerational mobility

Inequality and markets

Studying the link between inequality and markets for labor, capital and goods

Taxation and redistribution

Considering the limited role that fiscal redistribution plays in the region to level the playing field

Inequality and political power

Examining how inequality shapes political voice, political representation, social unrest and political outcomes


Why is Latin American Inequality So Extreme?

For as long as data on income inequality has been available, Latin America has stood as one of the world’s two most unequal regions (along with Sub-Saharan Africa). Despite some promising declines during the 2000s, inequality in many countries remains higher today than it was in the 1970s, suggesting a persistent high-inequality political economy equilibrium.
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About the review


LACIR brings together renowned scholars to provide a coherent and comprehensive overview of the inequality problem in the region. The review will entail a mix of in-depth critical reviews of the literature, novel data, and original data analyses. 

Fundamentally, LACIR will analyse the present levels of inequality, relative to what is observed elsewhere, with the issue of persistence constantly in mind. We will try to identify permanent and deep factors responsible for inequality being higher than elsewhere. 


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