1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Gender and Development (2000 - 2009), Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Gendered Implications of Tax Reform in Latin America: Argentine, Chile, Costa Rica, and Jamaica (Draft)



In Latin American and Caribbean countries, poverty and inequality have been long-standing problems, and the momentous economic and social policy changes over the past two decades have done little to correct these trends. The most effective means for reducing class- and gender-based poverty and inequality would be citizenship-based entitlements to basic (i.e. allowing basic subsistence) income support, health care, and education. In advanced industrial societies, public spending is an extremely important instrument for the alleviation of class- and gender-based poverty and inequality, and it could potentially play a similar role in Latin America and the Caribbean. However, responsible, that is, non-inflationary financing of such programs, requires a sound system of taxation, something that is scarce in developing countries, including in Latin America and the Caribbean. Systems of taxation on their part have important implications for class and gender equity. This chapter explores changes in the systems of taxation in four Latin American and Caribbean countries – Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Jamaica – from the point of view of their gendered impact.