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Persistent Inequality? Trade, Factor Endowments, and Inequality in Republican Latin America

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 March 2013

Leticia Arroyo Abad*
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Warner Science Hall, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753. E-mail: larroyoabad@middlebury.edu.

Abstract

Using a new data set, this article presents new evidence on inequality in Latin America for the nineteenth century and studies the effects of factor endowments and trade on inequality. Recent research has highlighted the link between the colonial origins of inequality and its persistence in Latin America. We find that inequality varied substantially throughout the century and across the region. We identify the impact of changing factor endowments and trade on inequality using a simple theoretical framework. This work suggests that the role of initial colonial origins has been overemphasized as important changes took place during postcolonial times.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Economic History Association 2013

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