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"Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality. For one very rich man there must be at least five hundred poor, and the affluence of the few supposes the indigence of the many".
(Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and  Causes of the Wealth of Nations, (Book 5, Ch. 1, Part II p.580)

On planning for development: Inequality and social exclusion
Economic inequality, poverty and corruption in
Africa  Asia  Latin America  China  United States of America


"Markets and the Dynamics of Inequality: Theoretical Perspectives" *
Jaime Kahhat - 2009
In its 2006 World Development Report the World Bank argues that there are two broad sets of reasons to believe that inequality can be detrimental to long-run growth and development.

Humanity Divided: Confronting Inequality in Developing Countries (2013)

Inequality in society is not a new phenomenon. And yet it can be fatal. If left unchecked, as demonstrated in this Report, it can undermine the very foundations of development and social and domestic peace.

Over the last decades, the world has witnessed impressive average gains against multiple indicators of material prosperity. For instance, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in low- and middle-income countries has more than doubled in real terms since 1990. In the same period, life expectancy in developing countries has risen from 63.2 years to 68.6 years. However, this is only part of the picture. Although the world is globally richer than ever before, more than 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty. The richest 1 percent of the world population owns about 40 percent of the world’s assets, while the bottom half owns no more than 1 percent. Despite overall declines in maternal mortality, women in rural areas are still up to three times more likely to die while giving birth than women living in urban centres. Social protection has been extended, yet persons with disabilities are up to five times more likely than average to incur catastrophic health expenditures. Women are participating more in the work force, but continue to be disproportionately represented in vulnerable employment. Humanity remains deeply divided.

Nor are recent trends very encouraging. Over the last two decades, income inequality has been growing on average within and across countries. As a result, a significant majority of the world’s population lives in societies that are more unequal today than 20 years ago. Remarkably, in many parts of the world, income gaps have deepened—and, with them, the gulf in quality of life between the rich and the poor—despite the immense wealth created through impressive growth performances. In fact, the sharpest increases in income inequality have occurred in those developing countries that were especially successful in pursuing vigorous growth and managed, as a result, to graduate into higher income brackets. Economic progress in these countries has not alleviated disparities, but rather exacerbated them.
On Planning for Development
From UNDP - 2009:
Markets, the State and the Dynamics of Inequality

The main objective of this project is to discuss and propose specific policies directed to reduce welfare gaps among and within different social groups, through economic growth and efficient and equitable market mechanisms

The Dynamics of Inequality in the Best and Worst of Times, Bolivia 1997-2007"
George Gray Molina and Ernesto Yañez

This paper focuses on the dynamics of inequality in Bolivia between 1997 and 2007. During this period, moderate poverty declined by 3 percentage points (from 63% to 60%) and extreme poverty declined half a percentage point (from 38% to 37%). Despite the modest improvement, the absolute number of the poor increased by 970,000, at an average rate of about 100,000 new poor every year.

Cambios en la desigualdad del ingreso en América Latina. Contribución de sus principales determinantes. (1995-2006)"

En general, las economías de América Latina se han caracterizado por presentar altos niveles de desigualdad del ingreso respecto a otros países. No obstante, si bien tanto los niveles como las trayectorias de la desigualdad entre los países latinoamericanos han sido dispares, desde principios de 2000 han asistido a un proceso de reducción de la desigualdad.

Declining Inequality in Latin America: A Decade of Progress?
Luis Felipe Lopez-Calva and Nora Lustig (editors).- Brookings Institution Press

"Markets, the State and the Dynamics of Inequality: Brazil´s Case Study"
Ricardo Barros, Mirela de Carvalho, Samuel Franco and Rosane Mendonça

In this study we seek to estimate the contribution of key aspects of Brazilian public policy and labor market performance in reducing income inequality. We focus on four main aspects: 1) government transfers, 2) earnings differentials per educational level, 3) spatial and sector labor market integration, and 4) minimum wage.

"Growth and Equity in the Dominican Republic: The Role of the Market and the State in an Economy with Unequal Growing Prosperity"
Omar S. Arias and Rolando M. Guzmán

The Dominican Republic has experienced one of the strongest growth performances of the last two decades in the LAC region. However, poverty and inequality have not declined, and the growing prosperity has been shared unevenly among the population. Income inequality remained unchanged over the last 7 years at the average for the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"Inequality in Post-Structural Reform Peru: The Role of Market and Policy Forces"
Miguel Jaramillo and Jaime Saavedra

In this paper, we analyze trends in inequality and characterized them, focusing on the post-structural reform period (1997-2006). Next, we identify the immediate factors influencing these trends, and link them to underlying forces associated with the market, and state policies.

"The Dynamics of Inequality in Spain"
José Fernández-Albertos
The paper has two main objectives. The first is to provide a comprehensive picture of the evolution of inequality during the economic expansion of Spain in the second half of the 20th century. The second is to study the determinants of the evolution of inequality over time.

"Markets and the Dynamics of Inequality: Theoretical Perspectives" *
Jaime Kahhat - 2009
In its 2006 World Development Report the World Bank argues that there are two broad sets of reasons to believe that inequality can be detrimental to long-run growth and development.

"The Political Economy of Redistributive Policies" *
James A. Robinson - 2009
Many factors influence the distribution of assets and income that a market economy will generate. These include the distribution of innate abilities, the nature of technology, and the types of market imperfections which determine investment opportunities and the distribution of human and physical capital.

"Dynamics of Inequality in Guatemala"
Lucilla Bruni, Alberto Fuentes and Tomás Rosada
Between 2000 and 2006, Guatemala achieved some, though modest, improvement in terms of inequality and poverty. We find evidence that those improvements did not benefit the poorest; rather, they benefited individuals in the middle ange of the distribution.

"Redistributive Constraints under High Inequality: The Case of Mexico"
John Scott
The paper presents a comprehensive analysis and interpretation of redistributive spending in Mexico. It reviews the evolution over the last two decades of the principal redistributive instruments and the distributive outcomes targeted by these instruments (income, land, education, health, nutrition).

"A Distribution in Motion: The Case of Argentina: A Review of the Empirical Evidence"
Leonardo Gasparini and Guillermo Cruces
This paper documents the changes in the income distribution in Argentina from the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s. Over the period inequality increased substantially. Two types of episodes have shaped this upward trend: deep macroeconomic crises and periods of sudden and intense economic liberalization.

"The Dynamics of Income Concentration over the Twentieth Century: The Case of Advanced Economies" *
Facundo Alvaredo and Thomas Piketty - 2009
This paper offers an overview of the main findings of a collective research project on income distribution in the long run in advanced countries. The decline in income concentration that took place during the first half of the twentieth century was mostly accidental, and does not seem to have much connection with a Kuznets-type process.

"The Educational Transition and Decreasing Wage Inequality in Chile"
Juan Eberhard and Eduardo Engel
The wage of the 90th (richest) percentile of the wage distribution in Chile increased faster than the median wage and the wage of the 10th percentile between 1975 and 1990. By contrast, from 1990 onwards the wage of the 10th percentile and the median wage grew faster than the 90th percentile.

Market Forces, State Action and Social Institutions in the Dynamics of Gender (In)Equality in Latin America"
Vivianne Ventura-Dias.
In the past two decades, Latin American women are facing greater social opportunities in accessing the “constituents of development” (education, health, and earning opportunities, legal and civil rights and political participation) than any time before. Tangible improvements in women„s lives can be measured by reductions in fertility and in mortality rates, longer life expectancy, incentives for girls to attend primary and secondary schools, together with greater participation and representation in political life.

"The Dynamics of Income Inequality in Mexico since NAFTA"
Gerardo Esquivel - 2009

This paper reviews the pattern of income inequality in Mexico since 1994. It shows that in the past few years there has been an important reduction of income inequality in Mexico, which has almost reverted the sharp increase in inequality observed between 1984 and 1994.

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