Inequality in Latin America has always been linked to the capture of the state by predatory elites, capital market imperfections, lack of access to credit for the poor, inequality of opportunities (in particular, in terms of access to high quality education), labor market segmentation, and discrimination against women and non-whites. This means that the observed fall in inequality is good news both in terms of fairness and overall economic efficiency.
The results of recent research show that both labor and non-labor income inequality declined during the decade, and the data point to two underlying phenomena in the three countries in question. First, a fall was observed in the premium to skilled labor (that is, the relative wage of employees with higher levels of education vis-à-vis those with no or lower levels). Second, the governments of these countries implemented more progressive antipoverty transfer programs.