A Moment of Equality for Latin America? : Challenges for Redistribution book cover
1st Edition

A Moment of Equality for Latin America?
Challenges for Redistribution

ISBN 9780367598013
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
284 Pages

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Book Description

Unlike other regions around the world, several Latin American countries have managed to reduce income inequality over the last decade. Higher growth rates and growing employment, but also innovative wage policies and social programs, have contributed to reducing poverty and narrow income disparities. Yet, despite this progress, nation-states in the region demonstrate little capacity to substantially change their patterns of deeply rooted inequalities. Focusing on the limits and challenges of redistributive policies in Latin America, this volume synthesizes and updates the discussion of inequality in the region, introducing the perspective of global and transnational interdependencies. The book explores the extent to which redistributive policies have been interlinked with the provision and quality of public goods as well as with structural changes of the productive sector. Inspired by structuralist and neostructuralist thinking of Latin American economists, such as Raúl Prebisch and Celso Furtado, authors question the redistributive impact of the interplay of recent macroeconomic, fiscal and social policies, particularly under left and center-left administrations committed to greater equality. Bringing together experts in social, fiscal and macroeconomic policies to investigate the interdependent and global character of inequalities, this book will appeal to scholars of sociology, economics, development and politics with interests in Latin America, inequality and public policy.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Marianne Braig. Part I Opening the Question: Redistribution and persistent challenges: an introduction, Lena Lavinas and Barbara Fritz; Moments of equality: today's Latin America in a global historical context, Göran Therborn. Part II Challenges for Coordinating Economic and Social Policies: The limits of redistributive policies in Latin America: complementarities between economic and social protection systems, Rubén M. Lo Vuolo; ‘Postneoliberalism’ and social inequalities in the Andes: reflections and hypotheses on the Venezuelan, Bolivian, and Ecuadorian cases, Juan Pablo Péres Sáinz; Social policy and structural heterogeneity in Latin America: the turning point of the 21st century, Lena Lavinas and André Simões; Macroeconomic constraints and limits on social spending: an analysis of the period 2003-2012 in Brazil, Jennifer Hermann and Denise L. Gentil; Structuralist reflections on current Latin American development, Ricardo Bielschowsky; Macroeconomics, the job market, and income distribution in Brazil over the recent past: progress, regression, and challenges, João Saboia. Part III Widening Political, Social and Fiscal Space: Which Outcomes for Redistribution?: Volatility, inequality, and the quality of public finances in Latin America, Juan Pablo Jiménez and Isabel López Azcúnaga; Is tax policy becoming more pro-equity in the region? Five case studies of commodity-dependent economies, Maria Fernanda Valdés; Vulnerability of tax revenues in developing countries, Christian von Haldenwang; Social policy, inequality, and development: notes on Brazil in the first decade of the 21st century, Eduardo Fagnani; Protection without redistribution? Conceptual limitations of policies meant to reduce race and gender inequalities in Brazil, Sérgio Costa. Part IV ‘Final Insights and Future Challenges’: An outline for the future: Latin America vis-à-vis the world, Hans-Jürgen Puhle. Index.

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Barbara Fritz is Professor of Economics at the Institute for Latin American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany and co-editor of New Issues in Regional Monetary Coordination: Understanding North-South and South-South Arrangements.

Lena Lavinas is Professor of Welfare Economics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has recently authored ’21st Century Welfare’ in New Left Review.


’By exploring the links between macroeconomic policy, social spending and labor markets, this volume offers a unique perspective on the many remaining challenges to sustaining the reduction of inequality in Latin America. A prestigious group of contributors from Europe and Latin America also demonstrate why students, academics and policymakers should care about Keynesian economics, Latin American structuralism and critical political economy.’ Diego Sánchez-Ancochea, University of Oxford, UK ’While still being a region of high inequality, Latin America is experiencing a unique process of inequality reduction at this present time. We all want to know whether Latin America can continue to grow with increasing equity. This book presents a very rich sample of analysis of a wide range of topics which are part of this intricate puzzle. It is difficult to find a more interesting and important subject or a better sample of chapters.’ Luis Bértola, University of the Republic, Uruguay