Inequality in Latin America and the Importance of Data - An Interview with Nora Lustig

by Roger Williamson

In this interview Professor Nora Lustig, Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics at Tulane University, talks about the importance of assessing the quality of income inequality data, the reasons behind the declining trend in income inequality in Latin America, and the Commitment to Equity - project that analyzes the contribution of fiscal policy to the changing of inequality and poverty. 

PART 1 - Assessing income inequality databases - an interview with Nora Lustig

In the first part of the interview Lustig explains how to ask critical questions about databases that use different methodologies on income inequality such as PovCal, WIID, SWIID.

PART 2 - Latin America: Inequality and commitment to equity

In the second part of the interview Lustig describes declining trend in inequality in Latin America since 2000. Detailed analysis of the compression of real wages is given with a decrease in the premium for tertiary education and a rise in real wages for lower paid workers. Cash transfer programmes are also a factor.

Lustig also explains the work of the Commitment to Equity - project, describing how fiscal policy and the incidence of poverty are related.

Lustig presented her findings at the UNU-WIDER Development Conference Inequality – Measurements, trends, impacts, and policies September 2014.

For more interviews, see UNU-WIDER channel on Youtube.

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