ERIC Number: ED466346
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Chile's High Growth Economy: Poverty and Income Distribution, 1987-1998. A World Bank Country Study.
World Bank, Washington, DC.
Chile has an outstanding record in reducing poverty, having cut the poverty rate in half in the 11 years ended 1998. Poverty is a multi-dimensional concept, including both income and access to social services and education, as well as such intangibles as empowerment and social capital. This study presents a quantitative assessment of "deficits" in education, health, and housing during 1990 and 1998, by comparing access to these services with thresholds based on widely accepted standards. Government spending on education increased substantially during this period, resulting in lower dropout rates and a decline in the percentage of students below their expected grade level. Housing deficits also declined significantly. Combining deficits in the three social sectors with a measure of income poverty reveals that while only 1.5 percent of households had deficits in all dimensions, 49 percent had at least one deficit. Income inequality in Chile remains high by international standards, but social programs help transfer resources from richer to poorer parts of the population. Analysis of such transfers indicates that subsidies to education were the main contributors to reducing equality (60 percent of total), followed by health care (26 percent). Unemployment is a severe problem for younger and poorer workers. Chile's extensive system of job training has been relatively effective in providing secure employment but may not be reaching the poorest groups. Chileans of indigenous origin are a special concern, with chronic high rates of poverty, lower income, lower levels of schooling, and tensions with the government over rural land and water rights. The main report contains 25 references and 24 data tables and figures. A second section contains seven background papers: "Updated Income Distribution and Poverty Measures for Chile: 1987-98" (Julie Litchfield); "The Distributional Impact of Social Expenditure: Chile 1990-98" (David Bravo, Dante Contreras, Isabel Millan); "Incorporating Social Services in the Measurement of Poverty" (Osvaldo Larranaga); "The Targeting of Government Programs in Chile: A Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment" (Carine Clert, Quentin Wodon); "Government Programs for the Insertion of Youth and Women in Chile's Labor Market: A Discussion" (Rodrigo Castro-Fernandez, Carine Clert, Quentin Wodon); "Protecting the Unemployed in Chile: From State Assistance to Individual Insurance?" (Rodrigo Castro-Fernandez, Quentin Wodon); and "Indigenous Peoples in Chile: Current Situation and Policy Issues" (Estanislao Gacitua-Mario). (SV)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Educational Attainment, Foreign Countries, Housing Deficiencies, Human Capital, Income, Indigenous Populations, Job Training, Poverty, Rural Urban Differences, Social Indicators, Trend Analysis, Unemployment
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Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Location: Chile