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Overview of Trends of Economic Inequality in Brazil
|Has the dispersion of earnings been increasing in recent decades?||No, earnings dispersion (Gini coefficient) has fallen in recent decade.|
|Has overall inequality increased in recent years?||No, the Gini coefficient has fallen by 5 percentage points between 2001 and 2009.|
|Have there been periods when overall inequality fell for a sustained period?||Yes, the recent decade.|
|Has poverty been falling or rising in recent decades?||Falling over past twenty years.|
|Has there been a U-pattern for top income shares over time?||Incomplete evidence.|
|Has the distribution of wealth followed the same pattern as income?||No evidence.|
|Additional noteworthy features||High level of overall income inequality.|
Sources and References
Sources for the historical data series:
Overall inequality: Gini coefficient for household per capita income from SEDLAC (Socio-Economic Database for Latin America and the Caribbean), a joint CEDLAS and World Bank project – see Gasparini, Cruces and Tornarolli; Gini coefficient for household income for 1960 and 1970 from Langoni (1973a, Table 2; see also 1978), see also Fishlow (1972, Tables 1 and 5).
Top income shares: Share of top 1 per cent in total household income for 1960 and 1970 from Langoni (1978, Tabela 1.1 and 3.3).
Poverty: Percentage below of individuals below national poverty line, from SEDLAC (CEDLAS and the World Bank).
Individual earnings: Gini coefficient for labour earnings in six main metropolitan regions, persons aged 15-60, from Neri (2010, Table 2.3, June figures).
Wealth: no suitable data were found.
- Fishlow, A, 1972, “Brazilian size distribution of income”, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, vol 62: 391-402.
- Gasparini, L, Cruces, G and Tornarolli, R, 2011, “Recent trends in income inequality in Latin America”, Economia, vol 11: 147-190.
- Langoni, C G, 1978 (first edition 1973), Distribuição de Renda e Desenvolvimento Econômico do Brasil?, Expressão e Cultura, Rio de Janeiro.
- Langoni, C G, 1973a, “Income distribution and economic development: The Brazilian case”, working paper.
- Langoni, C G, 1975, “Review of income data: Brazil”, Research Program in Economic Development Discussion Paper 60.
- Neri, M C, 2010, “The decade of falling income inequality and formal employment generation in Brazil” in Tackling inequalities in Brazil, China, India and South Africa, OECD, Paris.