This paper compares gender and ethnic inequalities in Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru, the three countries with the largest shares of indigenous population in Latin America. Horizontal Inequalities (HIs) are estimated for a wide array of variables in the following dimensions: education, health, employment, housing quality and poverty. A selected sub-set of these variables is used to analyse the characteristics of HIs in each country and in each dimension. As expected, indigenous people and women report disadvantages with respect to their counterparts. However, it is also found that gender gaps in education, employment status and labour income are remarkably wider among the indigenous population, while the gender gap in health is similar in both groups. Analysing the role of the State shows that State policies regarding healthcare are heavily biased against the indigenous population, but that is not the case regarding current education policies. The coverage of social programs is biased in favour of indigenous population, but the average amount received is higher among the non-indigenous in the case of Guatemala (the only case with available data). Finally, the roles of gender and ethnicity in the determination of labour income are directly compared using Propensity Score Matching. The results show that gender is a stronger determinant of income than ethnicity in the three countries. In addition, the interaction effect of ethnicity and gender is similar to the effect of gender alone in Guatemala, whereas in the case of Bolivia and Peru the interaction effect is remarkably higher than the single effect of gender.
CRISE Working Paper 32, 42 pp.
Gender and Ethnic Inequalities in Latin America: A Multidimensional Comparison of Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru.