Examening the Impact of Policy Changes of the Recent Decline in Income Inequality in Latin America

Open Access
Author:
Galamba, Leah Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Economics
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • James R. Tybout, Thesis Supervisor
  • Russell Paul Chuderewicz, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • economics
  • income inequality
  • Latin America
Abstract:
Latin America has consistently had one of the highest rates of income inequality in the world. The disparity between the percentage of income held by the highest earning 10% of the individual countries and the lowest 20% has been a source of conflict and political unrest for the majority of the 20th century. However, recent changes to policies have brought on a new decline to income inequality in the region, which is particularly remarkable since the rest of the world has seen their own inequality grow. This paper examines the effects of these policies which include changes to spending on education, expansions of conditional cash transfer programs and increasing openness to trade and how they have contributed to the overall decline in income inequality in Latin America.