On Bi‐Polarization and the Middle Class in Latin America: A Look at the First Decade of the Twenty‐First Century

21 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2014

See all articles by Joseph Deutsch

Joseph Deutsch

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics

Jacques Silber

Bar-Ilan University

Gaston Yalonetzky

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS); Leeds University Business School (LUBS) - Division of Economics

Date Written: November 2014

Abstract

This paper proposes new measures and graphical representations of the change in bi‐polarization and in the relative importance of the middle class that took place in a given country during a given period. These tools extend, in fact, the concepts of inter‐distribution income inequality and Lorenz curves by making, first, a distinction between overall, “pure growth based” and “shape related” distributional changes; and then between a “first‐order” and a “second‐order” change in “shape related” distributional change. The empirical illustration is based on data covering 17 Latin American countries in 2000 and 2009, obtained from the Latinobarómetro surveys for these years. The standard of living of individuals was derived on the basis of correspondence analysis. These new tools help us to understand the changes that took place in the distribution of standards of living during the period analyzed.

Keywords: bipolarization, generalized Lorenz dominance, inter‐distributional income inequality, Latin America, Latinobarómetro

JEL Classification: D31, O15, O54

Suggested Citation

Deutsch, Joseph and Silber, Jacques and Yalonetzky, Gaston, On Bi‐Polarization and the Middle Class in Latin America: A Look at the First Decade of the Twenty‐First Century (November 2014). Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 60, pp. S332-S352, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514108 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12133

Joseph Deutsch (Contact Author)

Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )

Ramat-Gan, 52900
Israel
+972.5.318.3457 (Phone)
+972.3.535.3180 (Fax)

Jacques Silber

Bar-Ilan University ( email )

Ramat Gan
Ramat Gan, 52900
Israel

Gaston Yalonetzky

University of Leeds - Leeds University Business School (LUBS) ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Leeds University Business School (LUBS) - Division of Economics ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

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