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CEQ Working Paper No 22: Fiscal Policy and Ethno-Racial Inequality in Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala and Uruguay

Fiscal Policy and Ethno-Racial Inequality in Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala and Uruguay
Working Paper no. 22

A working document by:
Nora Lustig
Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics, Tulane University
Nonresident fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue

African descendants and indigenous peoples in Latin America face higher poverty rates and are disproportionately represented among the poor. Per capita income of the white population can be sixty percent higher to twice as high as the per capita of the African descendant and indigenous populations. Using comparable fiscal incidence analyses for Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala and Uruguay, I analyze how much poverty and inequality change after fiscal interventions. I also propose a set of indicators for measuring how progressive and pro-indigenous or pro-African descendant government intervention is in ethno-racial dimensions. Based on these indicators, I explore which elements of tax and transfer systems within each country specifically contribute to narrowing or increasing existing ethno-racial gaps. The ratio of average per capita incomes by ethnicity or race declines by at most one decimal point (Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay) to nothing (Guatemala). In Brazil and Uruguay, where there is a respectable decline in overall inequality, the decline in inequality between different ethno-racial groups still does not decline significantly, changing by a very small amount in Uruguay and actually increasing in Brazil.

Access the working document here:
Updated January 2015
CEQ Working Paper No 22: Fiscal Policy and Ethno-Racial Inequality in Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala and Uruguay






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Latin American Graduate Oraganization (LAGO) 2018 Conference: Call for Proposals

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The Latin American Graduate Organization will be hosting its 2018 Latin American Studies Conference titled Thinking of the Future: Expanding the possible in the Americas (Pensando en el porvenir: Expandiendo lo posible en las Américas) February 23 – 25, 2018, at Tulane University, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This year, the conference topic is meant to challenge academics and activists to move beyond critiques and recommendations of how to address modern days issues, and instead articulate a vision of and for the future.

The LAGO Conference welcomes all disciplines and all approaches, as long as the project attempts to grapple with the idea of building something better. This is a Latin American Studies Conference, but creative writers, journalists, artists, performers, organizers, lawyers and healthcare providers as well as graduate students and other academics are welcome. Proposals are accepted in Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and English.

Deadlines: Abstracts of papers and projects are due November 25, 2017. Abstracts of papers or project descriptions must not exceed 300 words.

Please contact with questions. For more information, visit the official conference website.