In 2006, high school students throughout Chile broke out in protest for educational equality. The series of protests, nicknamed The Penguin Revolution for the black and white uniforms sported by the students, were against neoliberal education policies set in place by the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. In their opinion, these policies promoted a system defined by inequalities. This paper investigates if these neoliberal and unequitable policies had a negative effect on mean income for students subjected to their reforms. The implementation of a neoliberal education system in Chile occurred through two policy interventions. Initial neoliberal reforms were introduced in the Constitution of 1980 and were officially ratified into the Constitution by the creation of the The Organic Constitutional Law of Education (La Ley Orgánica Constitucional de Enseñanza or the LOCE) in 1990. Using a difference-in-differences (DID) model and data from the 2006 CASEN survey addressing the socio-economic status of Chilean citizens, this paper tests for effects on mean income for those who graduated high school under the policy intervention in 1985 (Constitution of 1980) and the subsequent policy intervention in 1995 (LOCE) compared to those who did not. The DID estimator examines these policies by looking at the province of Santiago, an area affected by the policy, as a treatment group and by looking at the province of Bio Bío, an area not affected by the policy, as a control group. Final regression results suggest that respondents who graduated after the implementation of the Constitution of 1980 had no statistically significant change in their mean income and respondents who graduated from high school after the implementation of the LOCE experienced a decrease in mean income compared to respondents not affected by the policy. The coefficients of the covariates in both regressions support the arguments of skill-biased technical change and the importance of education on mean income.
After the rise of post-authoritarian democracy in Latin America, both the Catholic hierarchy and laity alike questioned the necessity of the liberationist comunidades eclesiales de base (CEBs) that helped encourage socio-political activism amongst citizens living in the age of dictatorships. This study assessed how the religious and socio-political context of CEB members has changed in 21st century Chile, and whether current communities still have a connection to the liberation theology movement that created them. A combination of surveys, focus groups with base community members, and interviews with liberation theologians were implemented to determine both the beliefs and practices of the CEBs in the 21st century, and how they have changed over time. Both qualitative and quantitative analysis revealed that while the base communities have diminished both in number and in their revolutionary political focus, they have redefined core liberationist tenets to better fit a new socio-political context. This study has implications for understanding the historical trajectory of the base communities, and how their religious beliefs have been maintained over time.
In this study, the researcher uses Marianne Hirsch’s theory of postmemory (1997) to understand how shared postmemories influence current social mobilizations in Chile. This research aims to understand how the post-Dictatorship generation in Chile (born between 1990 and 1996) utilizes shared inherited memories of the dictatorship, and the Chilean welfare state prior to the Dictatorship, in anti-neoliberal social mobilization. After conducting a series of eleven semi-structured interviews, it is clear that members of the Chilean, intellectual left are mobilizing against a neoliberalism they trace back to the Dictatorship. Using data that came from qualitative research methods, it is concluded that respondents are inspired to participate in social mobilizations due to a shared nostalgia for the historical Left, stories they have heard from family and friends, and their distance from the dictatorship and subsequent lack of fear of repression