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September 15, 2022

Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

A Persistent Challenge

Event Series: Spotlight on the Americas

Grey skyscrapers next to a highway and a favela en Brazil

Inequality is one of the most serious and persistent challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean, with the social and health crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reversing the three decade old trend towards improving inequality. This year, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean presented a 2021 analysis revealing that 201 million people in the region live in poverty, with 86 million – 13.8% of the population – living in extreme poverty. How effective are government tools at addressing this issue?

Join us for a conversation with Nora Lustig on the impact of fiscal policy on inequality and poverty. Lustig leads the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQ) at Tulane University, which leads research on theoretical models and practical methods to determine how taxation and public spending can be used to eliminate poverty. The institute also provides step-by-step guides for policymakers, government officials, and other key leaders to assess the effectiveness of current fiscal policies.

Lustig will discuss her work with CEQ, as well as her perspectives on how to reduce inequality through comprehensive and rigorous tax and benefit incidence analysis and active engagement with the policy community.

Read the event summary here.


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. Lustig’s research is on economic development, inequality and social policies with emphasis on Latin America. She is the editor of Commitment to Equity Handbook: Estimating the Impact of Fiscal Policy on Inequality and Poverty (2018), a step-by-step guide to assessing the impact of taxation and social spending on inequality and poverty in developing countries. Lustig is a founding member and president emeritus of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and was a co-director of the World Bank’s “World Development Report 2000, Attacking Poverty.” She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Economic Inequality and is a member of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality’s Executive Council. Lustig served on the Atkinson Commission on Poverty, the High-Level Group on Measuring Economic Performance and Social Progress, and the G20 Eminent Persons Group on Global Financial Governance. She received her doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.