Publication: Economic Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America : Conference Edition
Indigenous peoples make up less than 5 percent of the world's population, yet comprise 15 percent of the world's poor. The indigenous population of Latin America is estimated at 28 million. Despite significant changes in poverty overall, the proportion of indigenous peoples in the region living in poverty - at almost 80 percent - did not change much from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. Economic Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America moves beyond earlier work which focused primarily on human development, and looks at the distribution and returns to income generating assets - physical and human capital, public assets and social capital - and the affect these have on income generation strategies. Low income and low assets are mutually reinforcing. Low education levels translate into low income, resulting in poor health and reduced schooling of future generations. Low assets not only reduce the ability to generate income, they also hinder the capacity to insure against shocks, thus increasing vulnerability. This is especially true when coupled with missing credit and insurance markets. There are significant complementarities across assets, which imply that the returns to one asset depend on access to another. These synergies between assets accumulate the disadvantages of the asset-poor in terms of returns to income-generating activities. They also dictate policies that facilitate access not only to one key productive asset, such as land, but also to complementary assets, such as training and infrastructure, which affect the returns to land.
“Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Skoufias, Emmanuel. 2007. Economic Opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in Latin America : Conference Edition. © Washington, DC : World Bank. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/72e0372c-1ccb-5f7d-a987-cb90f5cf6a6e License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”