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  • Open Access
  • © 2017

Has Latin American Inequality Changed Direction?

Looking Over the Long Run

  • This book demonstrates a detailed and comprehensive study of recent trends in inequality in Latin America

  • It challenges the reader to ponder whether Latin America has worked out its inequalities since it independencies time to the current years

  • It offers the perspective of international developing institutions such as the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank on the matter

  • Includes supplementary material:

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Table of contents (17 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-viii
  2. Introduction

    • Luis Bértola, Jeffrey G. Williamson
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. Long-Run Trends

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 15-15
    2. Functional Inequality in Latin America: News from the Twentieth Century

      • Pablo Astorga Junquera
      Pages 17-41Open Access
    3. The Political Economy of Income Inequality in Chile Since 1850

      • Javier E. Rodríguez Weber
      Pages 43-64Open Access
    4. Using Heights to Trace Living Standards and Inequality in Mexico Since 1850

      • Moramay López-Alonso, Roberto Vélez-Grajales
      Pages 65-87Open Access
    5. Long-Run Human Development in Mexico: 1895–2010

      • Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez, Cristóbal Domínguez Flores, Graciela Márquez
      Pages 89-112Open Access
    6. Racial Inequality in Brazil from Independence to the Present

      • Justin R. Bucciferro
      Pages 171-194Open Access
    7. The Lingering Face of Gender Inequality in Latin America

      • María Magdalena Camou, Silvana Maubrigades
      Pages 219-241Open Access
    8. Fiscal Redistribution in Latin America Since the Nineteenth Century

      • Leticia Arroyo Abad, Peter H. Lindert
      Pages 243-282Open Access
  4. The Recent Inequality Downturn

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 283-283
    2. Inequality in Latin America: ECLAC’s Perspective

      • Verónica Amarante, Antonio Prado
      Pages 285-315Open Access
    3. The Inequality Story in Latin America and the Caribbean: Searching for an Explanation

      • Augusto de la Torre, Julian Messina, Joana Silva
      Pages 317-338Open Access
    4. The Political Economy of Inequality at the Top in Contemporary Chile

      • Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
      Pages 339-363Open Access
    5. Fiscal Policy and Inequality in Latin America, 1960–2012

      • Judith Clifton, Daniel Díaz-Fuentes, Julio Revuelta
      Pages 387-406Open Access
    6. Challenges for Social Policy in a Less Favorable Macroeconomic Context

      • Suzanne Duryea, Andrew Morrison, Carmen Pagés, Ferdinando Regalia, Norbert Schady, Emiliana Vegas et al.
      Pages 407-419Open Access

About this book

This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book brings together a range of ideas and theories to arrive at a deeper understanding of inequality in Latin America and its complex realities. To so, it addresses questions such as: What are the origins of inequality in Latin America? How can we create societies that are more equal in terms of income distribution, gender equality and opportunities? How can we remedy the social divide that is making Latin America one of the most unequal regions on earth? What are the roles played by market forces, institutions and ideology in terms of inequality?

In this book, a group of global experts gathered by the Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL), part of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), show readers how various types of inequality, such as economical, educational, racial and gender inequality have been practiced in countries like Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico and many others through the centuries.

Presenting new ideas, new evidence, and new methods, the book subsequently analyzes how to move forward with second-generation reforms that lay the foundations for more egalitarian societies. As such, it offers a valuable and insightful guide for development economists, historians and Latin American specialists alike, as well as students, educators, policymakers and all citizens with an interest in development, inequality and the Latin American region.


  • Development
  • Inequality
  • Poverty
  • Social Policy
  • Latin America

Editors and Affiliations

  • Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay

    Luis Bértola

  • University of Wisconsin, MADISON, USA

    Jeffrey Williamson

About the editors

Luis Bértola (Universidad de la República, Uruguay)

Professor at the Economic and Social History Program, director of the Ph.D. and Master Programme, since 2005; Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg since 2010; Member of the Bureau of the International Economic History Association 2009-2015; CEPR Associate; member of the Figuerola Institute, Universidad Carlos III, Madrid; Director of the Montevideo-Oxford Latin American Economic History Data Base. Was editor of the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History Review. Co-author of The Economic Development of Latin America since Independence (Oxford University Press, 2012) and of several articles and book chapters of international publications during the last years. Has been advisor for ECLAC, IADB, ILO, NU and several national institutions in Uruguay and Latin America.

Jeffrey G. Williamson (Harvard University and University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The Laird Bell Professor of Economics, emeritus, Harvard University and Honorary Fellow, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Williamson is past President of the Economic History Association (1994-1995), Chairman of the Harvard Economics Department (1997-2000), and Master of Harvard’s Mather House (1986-1993).

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)