INEQUALITY: A Challenge for Prosperity


Ricardo Lagos and Robert Reich on the causes and consequences for democracy and the economy of the huge increase in income inequality over the past 30 years.

Despite significant economic gains over the past decades, inequality remains a critical issue in most parts of the Americas. According to the 2011 United Nations Human Development Index, Latin America as a region continues to suffer from the most unequal income distribution in the world. Similarly, in the United States, the incomes of the top 1 percent of earners grew by about 275 percent between 1979 and 2007, while the average pre-tax income of the bottom 90 percent has actually decreased.

Mathias Poertner
Publication date: 
August 16, 2012
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article