Wealth Inequality in Latin America

Chapters highlights:

  • Aggregate wealth has been increasing in countries like Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay, reaching close to 3.5 times the national income for market value estimates and 5-6 times at book values


  • Wealth inequality is extremely high for the few countries with administrative data, with the top 1% share ranging between 37% and 40.6%, close to the United States' level and below South Africa's.


  • Household asset surveys show very low shares among the bottom 50%, well below 10% and close to zero for a few countries, reinforcing the idea of large inequalities.


  • Indirect evidence suggests that extreme inequality is likely to be the rule in the entire region, given the high and stable levels of total and capital income inequality.


  • The region urgently needs more and better information on wealth to catch up with high-income countries. Including wealth surveys, national balance sheets and publicly-available administrative records.



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