Panel Paper: On the Capacity of the States to Impact Inequality at the Subnational Level: The Case of Latin America

Saturday, March 10, 2018
Room 24 (Burkle Family Building at Claremont Graduate University)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Alma Alicia Bezares Calderon and Giacomo Di Pasquale, Claremont Graduate University

State capacity provides tools to address income inequality by shaping patterns of redistribution. In our paper, we argue that states with higher state capacity have a larger range of possibilities whenever they experience an increase in income inequality. We also claim that high capacity gives states the possibility to restrain the effect of shocks that could reshape the social configuration of the state. To test our hypotheses, we elaborate a sub-national dataset that includes longitudinal information of 15 Latin American countries and incorporate original data on state capacity using the Myers score and subnational income inequality data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database. This allow us to contribute to the field by doing subnational analysis of income inequality and state capacity in developing countries, which are not very often analyzed from this standpoint, plus we construct a clear definition of state capacity that applies at the sub-national level.