CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Commitment to Equity

Commitment to Equity (CEQ), directed by Nora Lustig, the Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics at Tulane University and Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue, was designed to analyze the impact of taxation and social spending on inequality and poverty in individual countries, and provide a roadmap for governments, multilateral institutions, and nongovernmental organizations in their efforts to build more equitable societies. The CEQ is a joint project of CIPR, the Department of Economics at Tulane University and the Inter-American Dialogue.

The CEQ uses incidence analysis and a specially designed diagnostic questionnaire to address three questions: How much redistribution and poverty reduction is being accomplished in each country through social spending, subsidies and taxes? How progressive are revenue collection and government spending? Within the limits of fiscal prudence, what could be done to increase redistribution and poverty reduction in each country through changes in taxation and spending? CEQ is the first framework to comprehensively assess the tax and benefits system in developing countries and to make the assessment comparable across countries and over time. Initially, CEQ has focused on Latin America.

The comprehensive incidence analysis measures how each component of the tax and benefit system is distributed and the overall impact of taxes and benefits on an array of poverty and inequality indicators. It also calculates effectiveness indicators, progressivity indicators, incidence by decile, coverage and leakages by program, and estimates the probability of remaining poor after direct transfers. (For more read the handbook)

The diagnostic questionnaire is designed to assess how aligned fiscal policies are with supporting a minimum living standard and human capital accumulation, as well as with reducing inequality. The objective is to evaluate efforts based on whether governments: i. collect and allocate enough resources to support a minimum living standard for all; ii. collect and distribute resources equitably; iii. ensure that spending is fiscally sustainable and that programs are of good quality and incentive compatible; iv. collect and publish relevant information, as well as are subject to independent evaluations.

CEQ/Latin America is a joint project of the Inter-American Dialogue (IAD) and Tulane University’s Center for Inter-American Policy and Research (CIPR) and Department of Economics. The project has received financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the General Electric Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme’s Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNDP/RBLAC), and the World Bank.

Access the CEQ Working Paper Series here.
CEQ Handbook.

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CIPR talk series Critical Issues in Democratic Governance to host political economist Dr. Katrina Burgess

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Join the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies in welcoming Dr. Katrina Burgess as part of the fall speaker series Critical Issues in Democratic Governance, on Friday, November 16, in 110A Jones Hall. Dr. Burgess will give a talk titled Courting Migrants: How States Make Diasporas and Diasporas Make States.

The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to cipr@tulane.edu.

Katrina Burgess (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Associate Professor of Political Economy of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She is author of Parties and Unions in the New Global Economy, which won the 2006 Outstanding Book Award for the best publication on labor issues granted by the Section on Labor Studies and Class Relations of the Latin American Studies Association, and co-editor with Abraham F. Lowenthal of The California-Mexico Connection. She has also published numerous book chapters, as well as articles in World Politics, Latin American Politics & Society, Studies in Comparative International Development, South European Politics and Society, Comparative Political Studies, Politica y gobierno, and International Studies Review. Dr. Burgess has also served as Assistant Director of the U.S.-Mexico Project at the Overseas Development Council in Washington, D.C. and Associate Director of the California-Mexico Project at USC in Los Angeles.

Patterns of migrant engagement in politics back home cannot be understood without examining the ways in which homeland states reach out to their migrants. Since states engaged in what can be called diaspora-making are unable to deploy many of the tools of rule within their borders, they are especially reliant on the cultivation of loyalty. The agents, motives, and loyalty-cultivation strategies of diaspora-making have important implications for whether homeland parties mobilize voters abroad, as demonstrated by the contrasts between Mexico and the Dominican Republic.