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Changes in poverty and the stability of income distribution in Argentina

Working Paper 2006-33


From 1992 to 2001, despite its rapid economic growth during the early 1990s, Argentina experienced a period characterized by increasing income inequality and poverty. An axiomatically modified Datt-Ravallion decomposition, that separates changes in poverty rates into mean and inequality components, will illustrate how each of them has contributed to those changes. Contrary to the claims of much of the recent cross-country literature, income inequality does not appear stable in Argentina. Previous results are extended in two key ways. First, the empirical density function is used to calculate the inequality component, without assuming a particular functional form for the Lorenz curve. Second, both components are recomputed without the vaguely defined Datt-Ravallion residual, which improves interpretability.

Authors: Florencia Lopez Boo.

Keywords: decomposition of changes in poverty, poverty measures, inequality and growth.
JEL: C16, D63, I30, I31, I32, O54