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Abstract

This paper applies a non-parametric tool, the “relative distribution”, to identify patterns of changes in Brazil’s household income distribution over the period 2001-2011. Despite the sharp decline in income inequality recently experienced by the country, we are able to document an increased income polarization, which has particularly affected households below the median. The results call directly into question the future sustainability and equity of existing social programs dealing with the unequal distribution of resources.

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