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The Impact of Education on Income Inequality in Latin America between 2000 and 2010

Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission

ISBN: 978-1-78756-458-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-457-2

Publication date: 28 December 2018


This chapter examines the impact of education on income inequality in 18 Latin American countries between 2000 and 2010. This period has raised interest in the academic community because inequality has fallen across the region, after several years of consistent high levels. Employing the novel technique proposed by Firpo, Fortin, and Lemieux (2007), the author’s research provides a detailed decomposition of inequality. Three main findings emerge from the author’s results: First, the expansion of education increases inequality in six countries but reduces inequality in four countries. Second, the changes in returns to education are the driving component of the effects of education on inequality. Those countries where education contributes to a fall in inequality are those where the returns to education fell at the top of the income distribution. Third, the rise in the average years of education, considered alone, had an inequality-increasing effect in most of the countries under analysis.




This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and supervised by Mike Brewer. I am grateful to Silvia Avram and Alari Paulus for their very helpful comments. I also thank the participants at the ECINEQ conference 2017 in New York city for their comments.


Sámano-Robles, C. (2018), "The Impact of Education on Income Inequality in Latin America between 2000 and 2010", Bishop, J.A. and Rodríguez, J.G. (Ed.) Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 109-148.



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