The literature is divided on the impact of pandemics on income inequality. The
economic literature points to an increase in inequality as a result of pandemics,
whereas historical and political science literature argue that pandemics may create
breakdowns of institutions, maintaining inequality due to elite shifts and pressure
from below. We review current data on the impact of COVID-19 and find that there
is evidence of an upward income transfer as well as some elite shifts in the region.
However, elites have controlled the economic measures to alleviate and confront the
crisis and there is little evidence of a resultant institutional breakdown.