Economic Inequality In Latin America

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The region of Latin America has invariably been classified as having the highest levels of economic inequality in the world, with its nations characterized by extreme disparities in the distribution of wealth, income and consumption. The particular unequal distribution of productive assets, including land, skilled labor and capital (Huber and Stephens, 2012) is said to reflect an inverse pyramid (Hoffman and Centeno, 2003). It can be argued that the continent 's contemporary patterns of economic inequality cannot be fully interpreted without examining the historical processes of development and waves of globalization. Therefore, this essay will seek to examine the impact of the polarized political, economic and social institutions and power established in the colonial era beginning in the fifteenth century and spanning over four centuries. Moreover, it will examine the impacts of primary-export led growth, relations with the United States, import substitution industrialization, and finally the impact of structural adjustment programs in their contribution to the perpetuation of inequality into the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries through continued concentrations of power under the authority of elite groups and oligarchies (Suter, 2012). Latin America 's colonial roots are responsible for the majority of the region 's contemporary issues fixed in the power relations engendered during this period (Cupples, 2013). In spite of two centuries of independence, the

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