The rhythm in the fall of inequality in Brazil is acceptable?

Vol. 30 No. 3 (2010)

Jul-Sep / 2010
Published July 1, 2010
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Soares, Sergei Suarez Dillon. 2010. “The Rhythm in the Fall of Inequality in Brazil Is Acceptable?”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 30 (3):364?380.

The rhythm in the fall of inequality in Brazil is acceptable?

Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares
Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 30 No. 3 (2010), Jul-Sep / 2010, Pages 364?380


Evidences of the historical and international context. The following study uses two approaches to answer the question of whether inequality in Brazil is falling fast enough. The first is to compare the variation of the Gini coefficient in Brazil with what was observed in several countries that today belong to the OCDE (United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, Sweden, France, Norway, and Spain) while these same countries built their social welfare systems during the last century. The second approach is to calculate for how much Brazil must keep up the fall in the Gini coefficient to attain the same levels of inequality of three OCDE countries that can be used as a reference: Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The data indicate that the Gini coefficient in Brazil is falling 0.7 point per year and that this is superior to the rhythm of all the OCDE countries analyzed while they built their welfare systems but Spain, whose Gini fell 0.9 point per year during the 1950s. The time needed to attain various benchmarks in inequality are: 6 years to Mexico, 12 to the United states and 24 to Canadian inequality levels. The general conclusion is that the speed with which inequality is falling is adequate, but the challenge will be to keep inequality falling at the same rate for another two or three decades.

JEL Classification: D31.

Keywords: inequality income distribution international comparissons