Poverty and the Employment Problem in Argentina

Morley, Samuel A.
Mar 1997
This paper discusses poverty and unemployment in Argentina, beginning with the turbulent years since 1980. Argentina suffered a 25 percent reduction in per capita income, two bouts of hyperinflation and a sharp rise in poverty during the 1980s. In 1990, the Menem government began a profound restructuring of Argentine economy. A centerpiece of the new program was a plan designed to control inflation once and for all. Other elements of the program were a control of the government deficit, privatization, reduction in tariff barriers, and a reform of social spending. What was the effect of all these changes on the level of poverty, employment and social equity? These are the questions the authors address in this paper. The work is divided into three parts. In the first one, they examine movements in poverty and distribution, and their causes. In the second, the labor market is examined. In final one the authors draw some conclusions on Argentina's experience for the general debate on how to create a sustainable growth strategy that can reduce poverty and unemployment without hyperinflation.