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Crisis and class inequality in Argentina: a new analysis using household survey data

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Review of Evolutionary Political Economy Aims and scope

Abstract

This paper explains how the stagnation and crisis in Argentina (2009–2020) reshaped the standard of living of the working class and how their effects are reflected through inequality indexes. Many studies have used quintile stratification for inequality analysis. Following the traditions of Marxian/structural theoretical frameworks, we analyse inequality by defining the different factions within the working class, estimating the Socio Occupational Condition (CSO) from Census Data. This strategy allows us building different strata within the working classes from information on regular surveys. We work with the data from the Permanent Survey of Households (EPH) of Argentina. We use bootstrapping techniques to strengthen our estimations of mean income, too, in order to improve our analysis of the difference between classes and variance’s income estimator. We analyse the evolution of inequality with several generalized entropy indexes. These indexes allow us to describe the composition of inequality between the different classes and within each class. We complement the analysis with macroeconomic estimates of income distribution to include estimates for income appropriation from other social classes. We study how macroeconomic developments and policies during the recent crisis have affected inequality.

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Fig. 1

Source: The variable used is personal real income monthly expressed in pesos for the 3th quarter of 2020 from EPH. Income is corrected using the methodology of adult equivalent from INDEC (2021). The line on the left (dashed) is the poverty line estimate by INDEC. The line on the right (dash-dot-dash) is the mean income in 2019

Fig. 2

Source: The variable used is personal real income monthly expressed in pesos for the 3th quarter of 2020 from EPH. Income is corrected using the methodology of adult equivalent from INDEC (2021). The line on the left (dashed) is the poverty line estimate by INDEC. The line on the right (dotted) is the mean income in 2019

Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Source: The mean income was calculated using bootstrapping method. The monthly income is in real terms, expressed in pesos of the 3rd quarter of 2020. Income is represented by the income from the main occupation of the head’s household, which is used to determine its CSO (see Appendix 1 for further information). For the estimation results, we use R-Statistic

Fig. 5

Source: Gross domestic product (GDP) in real terms, based on data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) of Argentina. Seasonally adjusted series, base 2004

Fig. 6

Source: The profit rate is estimated as the gross profit over the difference between the gross value of production and the profit, based on data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) of Argentina

Fig. 7

Source: Own elaboration based on data from the INDEC EPH

Fig. 8

Source: Own estimate based on INDEC databases. Seasonally adjusted series of GDP and consumption, base 2004. The mass of surplus-value is approximated through the difference between GDP and total consumption. Although, following Kalecki, capitalist consumption is part of the mass of surplus-value, we cannot estimate this precisely

Fig. 9

Source: Own estimate on the databases of INDEC and the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security (MTEySS). The SMVM is deflated with a spliced price index based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of Greater Buenos Aires, the provinces of San Luis and Santa Fé, the National CPI series. For further information on the question, contact the authors

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Data availability

Not applicable.

Notes

  1. For these analyses, we use the income weights estimated by INDEC (INDEC, 2003).

  2. Some errors not pertaining to the sampling process will remain (e.g. the none/under-responses regarding household income or the fact that it is challenging to include households at the bottom and top of the income distribution). INDEC uses different techniques to correct these biases on income weights (INDEC, 2019).

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Correspondence to Mariano Féliz.

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Féliz, M., Emilia Millón, M. Crisis and class inequality in Argentina: a new analysis using household survey data. Rev Evol Polit Econ 3, 405–433 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43253-022-00080-9

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