Mostrando postagens com marcador classe média. Mostrar todas as postagens
Mostrando postagens com marcador classe média. Mostrar todas as postagens

16 novembro 2012

Quem é classe média?

[...]As it happens, Mr Pinheiro’s finely-tuned sense of social class fits neatly with the definitions deployed by the World Bank in a ground-breaking new study. Having crunched the numbers from household surveys across the region, it reckons that Latin America’s middle class expanded by 50%, from 103m to 152m, between 2003 and 2009. That represents extraordinarily rapid social progress. But it means that only 30% of the region’s population is middle class (see chart). A larger group has left poverty, but only just, as have many of those in Brasília Teimosa.
What it means to be middle class is a matter of definition and debate. Sociologists and political scientists define the middle class according to education, occupational status and ownership of assets. Economists, by contrast, tend to see income as determining class.
The bank’s economists nod in the direction of sociology by defining the middle class in terms of economic security. They reckon that for a Latin American household to have no more than a 10% chance of falling back into poverty over a five-year period requires an income of at least $10 per person per day (at purchasing-power parity exchange rates). They define those with an income of over $50 per day—just 2% of Latin Americans—as rich. The bank calls those with a daily income of between $4 and $10, “the vulnerable” or the “lower-middle class”. They make up the largest group. The proportion of Latin Americans living in poverty—defined as a daily income of less than $4—has fallen from 41.4% in 2000 to 28% in 2010.

This social progress is the result of a rare combination of faster economic growth, low unemployment and falling income-inequality. Income per person in Latin America grew at an annual average rate of 2.2% between 2000 and 2010, a step up from the previous two decades. And income inequality fell in the same period in 12 of the 15 countries for which data are available (though Latin America continues to rival southern Africa as the world’s most unequal region). Re-distribution, through conditional cash-transfer schemes and other social programmes, has helped to reduce poverty. But most of the expansion in the middle class has come from faster growth.

In all, the bank reckons that two in five Latin Americans were upwardly mobile between 1995 and 2010, though few made the leap directly from poverty to the middle class. Those who moved up tended to have more years of schooling. But the bank cautions that Latin America remains a land of unequal opportunity: children whose parents had few years of schooling tend similarly to be less educated than their middle-class peers.
One ray of hope is that over the past 15 years, the average number of years of school attendance among young Latin Americans has increased sharply, reducing the educational gap generated by social class. But the difference in the quality of the schools attended by the rich and the poor is bigger in Latin America than anywhere else. Higher education is expanding, too, and tends to be a passport to the middle class. But its cost—not least in job income foregone—deters poorer students, making student loans vital.
Fonte: Class in Latin America: The Expanding Middle - The Economist