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Incomes are more unequal

Friday, September 6, 2013

Income equality has increased in Panama since the economic crisis of 2008.

At the same time, equality in El Salvador is highest among the four countries in the region, which were included in the 2013 World of Work report, published by the International Labor Organization.

Costa Rica, El Salvador and Honduras all experienced an increase in inequality between 2007 and 2011.

As of two years ago, Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador were all in the 50-point range of the so-called Gini coefficient, which measures the gap between median income in a society, and the after-tax income of each of the highest 10 per cent and the lowest 10 per cent of households.

A society in which all households have the same income would have a coefficient of zero, while the figure would be 100, in a country with extreme levels of inequality.

Honduras had the greatest rich-poor gap in the region, with a coefficient close to 60.

Among so-called middle-income, emerging-market countries, Sri Lanka and Ukraine had the highest levels of income equality, in each case with a coefficient of 30.

Neither Nicaragua nor Guatemala were included in the section of the report., which deals with the Gini coefficient (figures in brackets; a plus sign indicates a higher coefficient than in 2007, a minus sign indicates a lower coefficient).

1. El Salvador 50 +
2. Costa Rica 52 +
3. Panama 56 -
4. Honduras 59 +