Nora Lustig

Nora Lustig
Tulane University | TU · Department of Economics

PhD in Economics

About

255
Publications
53,533
Reads
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Introduction
Nora Lustig is Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics and the founding Director of the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ) at Tulane University. She is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue. Her research on economic development, inequality and social policies has been published in more than 60 articles, close to 90 chapters, and 25 books and edited volumes.
Additional affiliations
October 2016 - December 2018
World Institute of Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER)
Position
  • Non-resident Senior Research Fellow
August 2016 - August 2017
Universidad Torcuato di Tella
Position
  • Professor
September 2009 - present
Center for Global Development
Position
  • Non-resident Senior Fellow
Education
August 1974 - August 1979
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Economics
August 1972 - August 1974
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Economics
August 1968 - August 1972
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Economics

Publications

Publications (255)
Article
Full-text available
The shock on human capital caused by COVID-19 is likely to have long lasting consequences, especially for children of low-educated families. Applying a counterfactual exercise we project the effects of school closures and other lockdown policies on the intergenerational persistence of education in 17 Latin American countries. First, we retrieve det...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on income inequality in Mexico, which increased between 1989 and 1994. Between 1994 and 2006, inequality declined; between 2006–14, inequality was again on the rise. The authors apply decomposition techniques to analyse the proximate determinants of labour income inequality and fiscal incidence analysis to estimate the first-or...
Article
Full-text available
Desigualdad y política fiscal en América Latina / 51 Latinoamérica se ha convertido en epicentro de la pandemia. Esto amenaza con dañar fuertemente las economías y retroceder décadas en el progreso social.
Article
Full-text available
Brasil y México enfrentaron los primeros efectos de la pandemia al mismo tiempo en febrero-marzo de 2020. En ambos países, los presidentes minimizaron la gravedad de la crisis sanitaria es sus meses iniciales, cuestionaron el uso de máscaras, y dieron prioridad a que sus economías continuaran operando a pesar del costo en vidas causado por la pande...
Preprint
Full-text available
The shock on human capital caused by COVID-19 is likely to have long lasting consequences, especially for children of low-educated families. Applying a counterfactual exercise we project the effects of school closures and other lockdown policies on the intergenerational persistence of education in 17 Latin American countries. First, we retrieve det...
Preprint
Full-text available
We simulate the short-and long-term distributional consequences of COVID-19 in the four largest Latin American economies: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. We show that the short-term impact on income inequality and poverty can be very significant, but that additional spending on social assistance has a large offsetting effect in Brazil and A...
Chapter
Full-text available
20 How COVID-19 could be like the Global Financial Crisis (or worse) Nora Lustig and Jorge Mariscal Tulane University; Columbia University The world is living its worst scare since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in the form of COVID-19, now officially declared a pandemic. The virus that causes this disease, like the flu, affects the respiratory...
Article
Taxation and public spending are key policy levers the state has in its power to change the distribution of income determined both by market forces and institutions and the prevailing distribution of wealth and property. One of the most commonly used methods to measure the distributional impact of a country’s taxes and public spending is fiscal inc...
Article
We analyse the evolution and proximate determinants of labour income inequality in Mexico between 1989 and 2017. Labour income inequality increased between 1989 and 1994 and declined between 1994 and 2006. What happened after 2006 is subject to uncertainty. The national labour force survey shows a steady decline and the income expenditure survey su...
Article
Full-text available
La pandemia en América Latina: una crisis económica sin culpables El FMI, el Banco Mundial y el BID deben tomar nota y hacer que sus apoyos financieros sean lo suficientemente generosos y flexibles. La austeridad solo exacerbaría el impacto económico y sería un obstáculo frente a la crisis sanitaria NORA LUSTIG | JORGE MARISCAL 19 MAR 2020-13:22 ED...
Preprint
This paper presents a survey of causes and correction approaches to address the “missing rich” problem in household surveys. “Missing rich” here is a catch-all term for the issues that affect the upper tail of the distribution of income: undercoverage, sparseness, unit and item nonresponse, underreporting and top coding. Upper tail issues can resul...
Article
Full-text available
Using the Iranian Household Expenditure and Income Survey for 2011/12, we estimate the impact and effectiveness of various components of Iran’s fiscal system on reducing inequality and poverty. We utilize the marginal contribution analysis to determine the impact of each component, and we introduce newly developed indicators of effectiveness to cal...
Book
Full-text available
http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0001429 Las brechas étnicas y raciales en desempeño económico, oportunidades laborales y acceso a servicios básicos, tales como educación y salud, permanecen como un gran reto pendiente en América Latina. Los impuestos y el gasto público son dos de los instrumentos más efectivos que los gobiernos tienen a su disposición...
Article
Full-text available
This paper estimates the impact of Tunisia's tax and transfer system on inequality and poverty and assesses the benefits from public spending on education and health. Results show that Tunisia's redistributive fiscal policy reduces inequality and extreme poverty significantly. However, based on the national poverty line, the headcount ratio increas...
Article
Full-text available
Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples in Latin America face higher poverty rates and are disproportionately represented among the poor. The probability of being poor is between two and three times higher for indigenous and Afro-descendants than whites. Using comparable fiscal incidence analyses for Bolivia, Brazil, and Guatemala, I analyze how mu...
Article
Full-text available
El estudio presenta una reseña de los principales enfoques metodológicos que se han utilizado para evaluar el impacto de la apertura comercial sobre la distribución del ingreso y la pobreza en América Latina. La gran cantidad de estudios en la materia fueron clasificados según el indicador de bienestar utilizado: desigualdad (salarial e ingresos de...
Article
Full-text available
Este artículo presenta resultados sobre el impacto de la política fiscal en la desigualdad y la pobreza en dieciséis países de América Latina para alrededor del año 2010. Los países que más redistribuyen son Argentina, Brasil, Costa Rica y Uruguay, y los que menos, Guatemala, Honduras y Perú. A mayor gasto social, mayor redistribución pero países c...
Article
En este artículo se analizan la relación entre salud, crecimiento económico y pobreza, los niveles, desigualdad y evolución de los indicadores de salud así como la equidad y eficiencia de la acción pública en materia de salud en México. Este país tiene niveles promedio de salud inferiores a los esperados para su desarrollo y, aunque en general han...
Research
Full-text available
This report focuses on the dimensions of poverty, and how to create a better world, free of poverty. The analysis explores the nature, and evolution of poverty, and its causes, to present a framework for action. The opportunity for expanding poor people's assets is addressed, arguing that major reductions in human deprivation are indeed possible, t...
Article
Current policy discussion focuses primarily on the power of fiscal policy to reduce inequality. Yet, comparable fiscal incidence analysis for twenty-eight low and middle income countries reveals that, although fiscal systems are always equalizing, that is not always true for poverty. In Ethiopia, Tanzania, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Guatemala the extrem...
Article
How much redistribution and poverty reduction is being accomplished through the tax system and social spending in Latin America? This paper summarizes results from applying a comparable fiscal incidence analysis to nine countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. Using the Gini coefficient as...
Chapter
Between 1995 and 2012, the wage distribution of male workers in Brazil shifted to the right and became less dispersed. This paper attempts to identify the reasons for that movement in male wage distribution, focusing on the impact of education expansion on wage distribution. The Oaxaca-Blinder (OB) and Recentered Influence Function (RIF) decomposit...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the redistributive impact of fiscal policy for Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru and South Africa using comparable fiscal incidence analysis with data from around 2010. The largest redistributive effect is in South Africa and the smallest in Indonesia. Success in fiscal redistribution is driven primarily by redist...
Article
Monitoring progress and determining whether the goal of ending poverty by 2030 is met crucially depends on how poverty is measured. In particular, it crucially depends on the global poverty line and how the line is adjusted over time. A special issue of the Journal of Economic Inequality, which this paper introduces, is dedicated to present alterna...
Article
Full-text available
To analyze anti-poverty policies in tandem with the taxes used to pay for them, comparisons of poverty before and after taxes and transfers are often used. We show that these comparisons, as well as measures of horizontal equity and progressivity, can fail to capture an important aspect: that a substantial proportion of the poor are made poorer (or...
Article
Full-text available
A reduction in the wage premium for skilled labor -and a consistent reduction of overall wage inequality-has played an important role in explaining the fall of income inequality in Latin America during the 2000-2014 period. Consistent with that pattern, wage inequality declined in Mexico since 2000. This paper investigates the possible channels on...
Article
Using comparable fiscal incidence analysis, this paper examines the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty in twenty-five countries for around 2010. Success in fiscal redistribution is driven primarily by redistributive effort (share of social spending to GDP in each country) and the extent to which transfers/subsidies are targeted to th...
Article
Using the Iranian Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) for 2011/12, we apply the marginal contribution approach to determine the impact and effectiveness of each fiscal intervention, and the fiscal system as a whole, on inequality and poverty. Net direct and indirect taxes combined reduce the Gini coefficient by 0.0644 points and the head...
Article
This paper uses the 2012/13 Uganda National Household Survey to analyze the redistributive effectiveness and impact on poverty and inequality of Uganda’s revenue collection instruments and social spending programs. Fiscal policy – including many of its constituent tax and spending elements – is inequality-reducing in Uganda, but the reduction of in...
Chapter
Although inequality has been falling since 2000, Latin America is still the most unequal region in the world and poverty rates are high for Latin America’s GDP per capita.1 Given these facts, the extent to which governments use fiscal policy to reduce inequality and poverty is of great relevance. This short chapter summarizes the results of applyin...
Chapter
Full-text available
High inequality is a characteristic feature of Latin America. After rising in the 1990s, however, income inequality in the region has declined while it has increased in other parts of the world. For the region as a whole, the Gini co efficient declined from an average of 0.550 in the early 2000s to 0.496 circa 2012. Of the 18 countries with availab...
Article
Guatemala is among the most unequal countries in Latin America. It also has the highest incidence of poverty, especially for the indigenous population. In this paper we do a fiscal incidence analysis using the 2009-10 household survey ENIGFAM. The results show that fiscal policy does very little to reduce inequality and poverty overall and along et...
Article
Full-text available
In response to a growing interest in comparing inequality levels and trends across countries, a number of cross-national inequality databases are now available. These databases differ considerably in purpose, coverage, data sources, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and quality of documentation. This special issue reviews and compares eight such da...
Research
Full-text available
This paper uses the 2010/11 Income and Expenditure Survey for South Africa to analyze the progressivity of the main tax and social spending programs and quantify their impact on poverty and inequality. The paper also assesses the redistributive effectiveness of fiscal interventions given the resources used. Because it applies the Commitment to Equi...
Article
Guatemala is one of the most unequal countries in Latin America and has the highest incidence of poverty. The indigenous population is more than twice as likely of being poor than the nonindigenous group. Fiscal incidence analysis based on the 2009-2010 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditures shows that taxes and transfers do almost nothi...
Article
Whether the poor are helped or hurt by taxes and transfers is generally determined by comparing income distributions before and after fiscal policy using stochastic dominance tests and measures of progressivity and horizontal inequity. We formally show that these tools can fail to capture an important aspect: that a substantial proportion of the po...
Chapter
This book has been a collective endeavor and has benefited from contributions from both inside and outside the IMF. We would like to thank the contributing authors for their close collaboration and enthusiasm for the topic. The research presented here has benefited from the comments of staff in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department and other departme...
Chapter
What is the link between middle class and income inequality? This chapter will assess the relationship between changes in income distribution and the growth of the middle class. Interest in the latter has peaked worldwide, as the rise of the global middle class is increasingly recognized as a key megatrend (Global Trends 2030, 2013). Zooming in on...
Article
How much do social spending and taxation contribute to achieving the goals of poverty reduction and expanding the access to education and health services among the poor? Standard fiscal incidence analyses applied to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay using a comparable methodology yields the following results. Direct taxes and ca...
Article
We identify a group of people in Latin America that are not poor but not middle class either—namely “strugglers” in households with daily income per capita between $4 and $10 (at constant 2005 PPP). This group will account for about a third of the region’s population over the next decades; as the size and income of the middle class rises, they coul...
Chapter
Full-text available
Sin ambigüedades, la desigualdad en América Latina disminuyó en la década de 2000. El coeficiente de Gini se redujo en 14 de los 17 países donde existen datos comparables, y el cambio fue estadísticamente significativo para todos ellos. Los estudios actuales apuntan a dos explicaciones principales para la disminución en la desigualdad: la reducción...
Chapter
Full-text available
Asia’s rapid growth in recent decades has led to a significant reduction in extreme poverty, however this has also been accompanied by rising inequality in many countries. This book, based on recent research undertaken at the Asian Development Bank, deals with three broad questions: What have been the recent trends of inequality in Asia and the Pac...