Thursday, August 28, 2014

Poverty Reduction in Latin America

The UN Development Program has a new study (seems to be Spanish-only) about the reduction of poverty in Latin America. It is quite optimistic, arguing that the total percentage of people in poverty dropped from 41.7% to 25.3% while the middle class grew from 21.9% to 34.3%.

As is so often the case, the trends defy easy ideological identification. Argentina, for example, is doing quite well.

This is great news. We also need to be cautious. There is some fine print, for example, such as that in seven countries informality exceeds 60%. Plus, as the study (and other studies like it) note, millions of people are at risk of falling back into poverty.

CEPAL has noted that the 2000s were good for poverty reduction, but that the trend had slowed sharply.


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