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Social Panorama of Latin America 2011

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2011

In 2010 the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) proposed a comprehensive development strategy entitled Time for equality: closing gaps, opening trails. This edition of Social Panorama takes a more in-depth look at the chain that produces and reproduces social gaps; it addresses other spheres as well. It focuses on how structural heterogeneity (productivity gaps in the national economies), labour segmentation and gaps in social protection are linked along the chain. Demographic factors such as fertility differentiated by education and income level are discussed, as are more specific patterns of risk and exclusion like those impacting young people in the Caribbean.

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Work, employment and labour markets: Factories, circuits and hard cores of inequality reproduction

Recent achievements in poverty reduction and income concentration make it necessary to gauge how much space there is for Latin America to continue to make strides against one of the factors that is most hindering progress: inequality. Structural heterogeneity, stratification of the fertility decline and gender inequality operate as true factories of inequality in the labour markets of Latin America. Where these factors overlap they form circuits of reproduction of inequalities: the circuit that operates in the gaps between formal and informal workers, the one that links this inequality to gender disparities, the ones that shape differential behaviours among certain groups (such as women and young people) in the face of unemployment and the one that structures inequalities in labour-force participation. This dynamic gives rise to hard cores of inequality and vulnerability that embed in certain sectors, such as young low-income women with small children, low-income young people and workers (especially women) in low-productivity areas.

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