The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 826–849 | Cite as

Does Aid Reduce Inequality? Evidence for Latin America

Original Article


During the last two decades there has been an intense debate over the efficacy and efficiency of international aid. The debate has focused on the performance of beneficiary countries in terms of economic growth. Yet little attention has been paid to the role of aid in income distribution within receiving countries, despite the fact that reducing inequality is an explicit aim of international aid. In this article, we analyse the role of aid in the evolution of income distribution over the last two decades for 18 Latin American countries. While Latin America is the most unequal region of the world, it includes some of the countries currently leading the reduction of inequality at the global level. The region is also currently losing a significant amount of aid disbursement. The main finding of our work, after controlling for several relevant variables, is that there has been a significant effect of international aid on reducing income inequality in Latin America.


foreign aid inequality Latin America 


Au cours de ces deux décennies, un débat intense sur l’efficacité de l’aide internationale au développement a eu lieu. Pourtant, peu d’attention a été portée sur le rôle de l’aide au développement dans la distribution des revenus, en dépit du fait que la réduction des inégalités est l’un des buts explicites de l’aide internationale au développement. Dans cet article, nous analysons le rôle de l’aide au développement dans l’évolution de la distribution des revenus dans 18 pays d’Amérique Latine au cours de ces 20 dernières années. Bien que l’Amérique Latine soit la région du monde où il y a le plus d’inégalités sociales, elle comprend certains des pays qui sont actuellement les leaders dans la réduction des inégalités au niveau mondial. Actuellement, la région perd également une partie importante de l’aide au développement. Après avoir pris en compte plusieurs variables pertinentes, la conclusion principale de notre travail est que l’aide internationale au développement a joué un rôle significatif dans la réduction des inégalités de revenus en Amérique Latine.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AQR-IREA. Universidad de BarcelonaBarcelona
  2. 2.Universidad CEU San PabloMadrid

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