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Income Inequality in Mexico 1895-1940: Industrialization, Revolution, Institutions

Castañeda Garza, Diego and Bengtsson, Erik LU (2020) In Lund Papers in Economic History. General Issues
Abstract
This paper, building on new archival research, presents the first comprehensive estimates of income inequality in Mexico before 1950. We use the social tables method of combining census information with group- level income data to reconstruct Mexican incomes and their distribution for four benchmark years, 1895, 1910, 1930 and 1940. The Gini coefficient for incomes is 0.48 in 1895, 0.47 in 1910, 0.41 in 1930 and 0.51 in 1940. The evidence points to inequality as a multi-faceted phenomenon. Mexican income inequality was shaped by the economic policies of the various regimes, as well as the growth possibilities of various sectors. The revolution of the 1910s entailed reforms (of the labor market and of land ownership) which equalized... (More)
This paper, building on new archival research, presents the first comprehensive estimates of income inequality in Mexico before 1950. We use the social tables method of combining census information with group- level income data to reconstruct Mexican incomes and their distribution for four benchmark years, 1895, 1910, 1930 and 1940. The Gini coefficient for incomes is 0.48 in 1895, 0.47 in 1910, 0.41 in 1930 and 0.51 in 1940. The evidence points to inequality as a multi-faceted phenomenon. Mexican income inequality was shaped by the economic policies of the various regimes, as well as the growth possibilities of various sectors. The revolution of the 1910s entailed reforms (of the labor market and of land ownership) which equalized incomes, but when these reforms were substantially reversed, inequality rose again. The developments are in line with a new branch of the literature that recognizes the importance for inequality dynamics of land ownership. The levels of inequality in the long term display rather strong persistence, in line with institutionalist arguments. (Less)
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organization
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type
Working paper
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Income inequality, Income distribution, Social tables, Mexico, Mexican revolution, Political economy, D63, E01, N36, O15
in
Lund Papers in Economic History. General Issues
issue
2020:212
pages
68 pages
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b446a236-4f48-48b0-b129-93ece35cf343
date added to LUP
2020-03-18 12:55:55
date last changed
2020-03-19 20:11:46
@misc{b446a236-4f48-48b0-b129-93ece35cf343,
  abstract     = {This paper, building on new archival research, presents the first comprehensive estimates of income inequality in Mexico before 1950. We use the social tables method of combining census information with group- level income data to reconstruct Mexican incomes and their distribution for four benchmark years, 1895, 1910, 1930 and 1940. The Gini coefficient for incomes is 0.48 in 1895, 0.47 in 1910, 0.41 in 1930 and 0.51 in 1940. The evidence points to inequality as a multi-faceted phenomenon. Mexican income inequality was shaped by the economic policies of the various regimes, as well as the growth possibilities of various sectors. The revolution of the 1910s entailed reforms (of the labor market and of land ownership) which equalized incomes, but when these reforms were substantially reversed, inequality rose again. The developments are in line with a new branch of the literature that recognizes the importance for inequality dynamics of land ownership. The levels of inequality in the long term display rather strong persistence, in line with institutionalist arguments.},
  author       = {Castañeda Garza, Diego and Bengtsson, Erik},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Working Paper},
  number       = {2020:212},
  series       = {Lund Papers in Economic History. General Issues},
  title        = {Income Inequality in Mexico 1895-1940: Industrialization, Revolution, Institutions},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/77326250/LUPEH_212.pdf},
  year         = {2020},
}