Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class

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collection.link.137
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/6002
collection.link.40
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2148
collection.name.137
Spanish PDFs Available
collection.name.40
Latin America and Caribbean Studies
dc.contributor.author
Ferreira, Francisco H.G.
dc.contributor.author
Messina, Julian
dc.contributor.author
Rigolini, Jamele
dc.contributor.author
López-Calva, Luis-Felipe
dc.contributor.author
Lugo, Maria Ana
dc.contributor.author
Vakis, Renos
dc.date.accessioned
2012-11-13T15:44:37Z
dc.date.available
2012-11-13T15:44:37Z
dc.date.issued
2013
dc.description.abstract
After decades of stagnation, the size of Latin America's middle class recently expanded to the point where, for the first time ever, the number of people in poverty is equal to the size of the middle class. This volume investigates the nature, determinants and possible consequences of this remarkable process of social transformation. We propose an original definition of the middle class, tailor-made for Latin America, centered on the concept of economic security and thus a low probability of falling into poverty. Given our definition of the middle class, there are four, not three, classes in Latin America. Sandwiched between the poor and the middle class there lies a large group of people who appear to make ends meet well enough, but do not enjoy the economic security that would be required for membership of the middle class. We call this group the 'vulnerable'. In an almost mechanical sense, these transformations in Latin America reflect both economic growth and declining inequality in over the period. We adopt a measure of mobility that decomposes the 'gainers' and 'losers' in society by social class of each household. The continent has experienced a large amount of churning over the last 15 years, at least 43% of all Latin Americans changed social classes between the mid 1990s and the end of the 2000s. Despite the upward mobility trend, intergenerational mobility, a better proxy for inequality of opportunity, remains stagnant. Educational achievement and attainment remain to be strongly dependent upon parental education levels. Despite the recent growth in pro-poor programs, the middle class has benefited disproportionally from social security transfers and are increasingly opting out from government services. Central to the region's prospects of continued progress will be its ability to harness the new middle class into a new, more inclusive social contract, where the better-off pay their fair share of taxes, and demand improved public services.
en
dc.identifier.isbn
978-0-8213-9634-6
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/10986/11858
dc.language.iso
en
dc.publisher
Washington, DC: World Bank
dc.relation.ispartofseries
Latin America and Caribbean Studies;
dc.rights
CC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.rights.holder
World Bank
dc.rights.uri
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo
dc.subject
Inequality
dc.subject
Measurement
dc.subject
Middle Class
dc.subject
Mobility
dc.subject
Poverty
dc.subject
Social Class
dc.subject
Vulnerability
dc.title
Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class
en
okr.date.disclosure
2012-11-13
okr.doctype
Publications & Research :: Publication
okr.doctype
Publications & Research
okr.externalurl
http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/COUNTRIES/LACEXT/EXTLACOFFICEOFCE/0,,contentMDK:23311344~pagePK:64168445~piPK:64168309~theSitePK:870893,00.html
okr.externalurl
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/LACINSPANISHEXT/Resources/Informe_ClaseMedia.pdf
okr.externalurl
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/LACEXT/Resources/English_Report_midclass.pdf
okr.globalpractice
Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience
okr.globalpractice
Education
okr.globalpractice
Poverty
okr.globalpractice
Health, Nutrition, and Population
okr.googlescholar.linkpresent
yes
okr.identifier.doi
10.1596/978-0-8213-9634-6
okr.language.supported
en
okr.language.supported
es
okr.peerreview
Academic Peer Review
okr.region.administrative
Latin America & Caribbean
okr.region.geographical
Latin America and the Caribbean
okr.theme
Social protection and risk management
okr.theme
Social dev/gender/inclusion
okr.topic
Social Development
okr.topic
Poverty Reduction
okr.topic
Culture and Development
okr.topic
Social Inclusion and Institutions
okr.topic
Population Policies
okr.topic
Inequality
okr.topic
Rural Poverty Reduction
okr.topic
Teaching and Learning
okr.topic
Health, Nutrition and Population
okr.topic
Education
okr.unit
Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America & the Caribbean

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