Pobreza multidimensional urbana en Argentina : un análisis de las disparidades entre el Norte grande y Centro-Cuyo-Sur (2003-2016)

Fernando Antonio Ignacio González (fernando_gonzalez01@hotmail.com)
Economics, Universidad Nacional del Sur
December, 2019
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The objective of this thesis is to analyze the regional disparities of urban poverty in Argentina and its recent evolution (2003-2016) using a multidimensional poverty measure that allows to assess the achievement of people and households in different dimensions of well-being: housing, education, employment and social security, basic services and income. Chapter 1 provides a review of the main antecedents in the measurement and conceptualization of poverty at the global, regional and national levels. The review suggests that traditionally poverty measurement was carried out from a one-dimensional and indirect perspective. In recent years, however, a growing consensus has developed around the idea of a multidimensional conception of poverty. In this regard, in Latin America and Argentina, a history of multidimensional measurement was observed that dates back to the 1980s with the method of unsatisfied basic needs. Chapter 2 explores the regional disparities in Argentina, contrasting the Norte Grande Argentino (NGA) with the other regions (Centro, Cuyo and Sur [CCS]), in terms of relevant social and economic indicators (participation in GDP, population, exports, education, health, among others). It is observed that the NGA has worse development indicators than the CCS and such situation goes back to the beginning of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata (1776). For previous periods, the antecedents examined suggest that the provinces of northern Argentina had dynamic economies linked to Alto Perú. In terms of economic convergence, the evidence tends to confirm the idea of conditional convergence between provinces of Argentina but rejects the hypothesis of absolute convergence, reaffirming the notion of regional disparities. Chapter 3 describes the methodology of the multidimensional poverty index used for the Argentine case, as well as methodological changes related to the main source of information used. Using data from the Encuesta Permanente de Hogares (EPH), the point estimates and confidence intervals of the multidimensional poverty index for the NGA and CCS are presented. The results suggest that since the beginning of the series in 2003, the NGA has higher levels of poverty and these differences are statistically significant. In spite of the above, since 2007 - and especially since 2011 - a process of reducing disparities between the NGA and CCS is observed. When disaggregating by sub-regions, it is found that the reduction of disparities operated between the NGA and Centro and Cuyo, but to a lesser extent with respect to the South. In Chapter 4, the results obtained in Chapter 3 are analyzed in greater depth. First, different hypotheses are explored to account for the reduction of the disparities observed among large urban agglomerates. In particular, the relevance of housing programs - such as the Programa de Mejoramiento Barrial (PROMEBA) -, money transfer programs - such as Asignación Universal por Hijo or PROGRESAR -, the evolution of the main indicators of the labor market and schooling is examined. Second, the results of reduction of disparities obtained with the EPH data are contrasted with those that arise from using a source of information with greater geographic coverage, the Annual Urban Household Survey, which includes agglomerates of 2000 or more population. Using this alternative source of information, one observes that the poverty gap between regions narrowed very little between 2010-2014. That is, the results suggest that convergence in poverty levels operated primarily among the main urban agglomerates, without reaching the smallest agglomerates. Then, the existence of deprivation conglomerates in the main agglomerates (EPH data) of each of the two major regions analyzed is explored. It is found that in 2004 the NGA presented 3 conglomerates of deprivations: one formed by deprivations in income and social security, another by deprivations in health and educational attainment and a third conglomerate with the remaining deprivations considered, while the CCS did not present groupings of deprivations. On the other hand, by 2016 the main agglomerates of the NGA no longer presented these three groupings of deprivations but rather the structure more closely resembled that of the CCS. Fourth, multilevel regressions are made trying to account for the determinants of multidimensional poverty. It is found that the variability between provinces is greater in terms of the incidence of poverty than in intensity. Finally, an empirical analysis of convergence between Argentine urban agglomerates is presented and it is found that those periods of greatest economic growth coincide with the greatest regional disparities in poverty, while the periods of relative stagnation in activity are those with the greatest reduction in disparities.

ISSN: 2254-2035