DT 24 - 23 Functional income distribution in Uruguay (1870 – 1908). A methodological note

We describe the methodology and sources used to estimate the functional income distribution series in Uruguay for the period prior to the 1908 census. We show the estimates and splices made to obtain continuous series with an annual frequency for the period 1870–1908. Income is decomposed, in functional terms, into wages, land rents, mixed capital-labour incomes, and profits. Given the extended time frame and diversity of available sources, we first describe the methodology used to estimate each income component in 1880-1908, followed by the estimation method for 1870-1880. The results indicate that the main changes in the distribution are observed between profits and wages. Until the outbreak of the crisis in 1890, there was a clear upward trend in the profit share, the counterpart of which was a decline in the wage share. After the crisis, the trends reversed. From 1894 onwards, both shares showed a stable trend until the end of the period, although significant variations in their levels can be observed. Land revenue represented 20% of income until 1883; its share of income fell in 1884-1887, after which it stabilised at approximately 16%. Mixed incomes maintained a relatively stable income share of around 7%.

Keywords: functional income distribution; national accounts; Uruguay