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LSE and IDB launch The Latin America and Caribbean Inequality Review

A new research project to investigate why inequality remains so stubbornly high in Latin America and to identify ways to address this development challenge has been launched by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Inequalities Institute (III) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Yale University and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Longstanding and deep inequalities have endured across Latin America for many decades. The Latin America and Caribbean Inequality Review (LACIR) is made up of a group of leading social scientists who will help uncover what drives persistent inequalities in the region and suggest practical interventions for policymakers. It will be led by scholars at the International Inequalities Institute (III) at LSE, in partnership with the IDB, Yale University and the IFS.

“Inequality manifests across many dimensions, from where you are born, the color of your skin, your gender, and even the place and size of your classroom,” said IDB Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, Benigno López. “To generate a sustainable recovery in line with our Vision 2025 strategy, we need a deeper understanding of why Latin America and the Caribbean has struggled with this challenge, so we can begin to build a consensus on better policies that gives every citizen an opportunity to thrive.”

LACIR lead Professor Francisco Ferreira, the Amartya Sen Professor of Inequality Studies and Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE, said: “For more than 70 years, Latin America and the Caribbean have experienced exceptionally high levels of multiple and interconnected inequalities. Although there were some improvements in the 2000s, the region has not escaped its unique high-inequality trap, which acts as a persistent drag on its development. We hope to find out why that is, and how it can be changed.”

The review, which will run for five years, will bring together a collective of scholars and thought leaders with relevant research expertise and a shared interest in tackling inequality. Within the research program experts will co-write research papers, critical reviews and propose policy recommendations focusing on inequality along various dimensions - including income, wealth, education, health, and political power.  

The launch of LACIR will be marked by two online events. The IDB will host the event: Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Call to Action on September 23. The second is an online public lecture event: Why is Latin American Inequality so Extreme? on Wednesday 29 September 2021, in which three of the Review Panel members and two eminent discussants will present and debate some of the core questions of the review.

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About us

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.


Bachelet,Pablo A.

Bachelet,Pablo A.
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