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This paper explores the link between compulsory voting and income distribution using a cross-section of countries around the world. Our empirical cross-country analysis for 91 countries during the period 1960-2000 shows that compulsory voting, when enforced strictly, improves income distribution, as measured by the Gini coefficient and the bottom income quintiles of the population. Our findings are robust to changes and additions to our benchmark specification. Since poorer countries suffer from relatively greater income inequality, it might make sense to promote such voting schemes in developing regions such as Latin America. This proposal assumes that bureaucratic costs related with design and implementation are not excessive.
The Gini coefficient of labor earnings in Brazil fell by nearly a fifth between 1995 and 2012, from 0.50 to 0.41. The decline in earnings inequality was even larger by other measures, with the 90-10 percentile ratio falling by almost 40 percent. Although the conventional explanation of a falling education premium did play a role, an RIF regression-based decomposition analysis suggests that the dec ... (View publication)
This study estimates the effects of the 1970 Ancash earthquake on human capital accumulation on the affected and subsequent generation, 37 years after the shock, using the Peruvian censuses of 1993 and 2007. The main finding is that males affected by the earthquake in utero completed on average 0.5 years less schooling while females affected by the earthquake completed 0.8 years less schooling. Su ... (View publication)
This paper follows an income-based, time-dependence approach to measure social mobility in Uruguay between 1982 and 2010. The paper finds that social mobility in Uruguay is considerable and reports evidence suggesting that this mobility is greater within cohorts of groups, such as those defined by gender or region, than between groups. Entrepreneurship and self-employment are associated with great ... (View publication)
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