Luis Felipe López Calva on inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

WIDER Webinar 5 October 2021

Luis Felipe López Calva on inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

On 5th October 2021 Luis Felipe López Calva joins the WIDER webinar series to discuss ways for Latin America and the Caribbean area to escape the trap of low growth and high inequality. His presentation is based on the work done for the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Regional Human Development Report.

Carlos Gradín joins as discussant to share insights on the implications of the report to better understand the dynamic of inequalities in LAC region and how they connect with ongoing research at UNU-WIDER on the changing nature of work and inequality.

Escaping the trap of low growth and high inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of great contrasts, where wealth and prosperity coexist with vulnerability and extreme poverty. The list of contrasts is long and familiar. The region is also characterized by very volatile and low average growth, explained by low productivity.

UNDP’s recently launched Regional Human Development Report argues that the region is caught in a trap of high inequality and low growth. These two phenomena interact in a vicious circle that limits the ability to advance on all fronts of human development. Understanding the nature of the trap is critical to breaking free from it.

The event will be chaired by UNU-WIDER Senior Research Fellow Patricia Justino.

About the speakers

Luis Felipe López Calva, ASG, is the UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean since September 2018. He has nearly 30 years of professional experience, advising several Mexican governments, in addition to UNDP and most recently the World Bank where he served as Practice Manager of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice (Europe and Central Asia).

He was the co-director and lead author of the World Development Report 2017 on “Governance and the Law”. He was previously Lead Economist and Regional Poverty Advisor in the Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region, and Lead Economist at the Poverty, Equity and Gender Unit in the Latin America and Caribbean PREM Directorate, also at the World Bank. From 2007-2010, he served as Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNDP-RBLAC in New York.

Mr. López-Calva has been Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities and he is Fellow of the Human Development and Capabilities Association. He has also been Chair of the Network on Inequality and Poverty in the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Association. His research interests focus on labour markets, poverty and inequality. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Boston University, as well as a master’s and a doctorate in economics from Cornell University.

Carlos Gradín is a Research Fellow at the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER). He is on leave of absence from his previous appointment as professor of applied economics at the University of Vigo.

Carlos Gradín holds a PhD in economics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His main research interest is the study of poverty, inequality and discrimination in both developed and developing countries. He is especially interested in those inequalities that occur between population groups (i.e. by gender, race, or ethnicity). His research deals with enhancing the empirical evidence as well as methodological tools for the measurement and understanding of those issues.

His research has been published so far in specialized journals, such as the Journal of Economic Inequality, Review of Income and Wealth, Review of Household Economics, Journal of Development Studies, Regional Studies, Journal of African Economies, and Industrial Relations, among others.