politica economica

Peruvian Regional Inequality: 1847–2017



This chapter describes the evolution of regional inequality in Peru between the years 1847 and 2017 using the latest available statistics on the spatial distribution of population and economic activity. The main results observed were the transformation of the economic space of this country. Regional inequality steadily rose throughout the nineteenth century and the early stages of the twentieth century. Throughout the Colonial Era, the Peruvian southern region concentrated most of the economic activity, population, and infrastructure. The prominence of the South had its roots on the population decline during the Spanish conquest and the economic activity driven by the mines located in the so-called “Alto Peru”, today’s Bolivia. After the War of the Pacific, many structural changes took place; the modernization of Lima’s manufacturing industry began, and different mining cycles affected inner regions. Improvements in infrastructures integrated the coastal regions to the domestic market. Since 1950, regional inequality started a downward trend due to the expansion of the domestic economy and market integration. This dynamism created huge migration flows to these regions and consolidated a new regional distribution of economic activity, with the more dynamic zones located in the capital and in the depression in the highlands.


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