Social classes, economic sectors and changes in the Chilean social structure, 1992 and 2013
According to recent research studies, a central characteristic of Chilean society is its mesocratization, in other words the sustained growth of the middle class. This article tests that thesis empirically, using Erik O. Wright’s class model and the shift-share analysis technique to study the changes that occurred in Chile’s class structure in two periods 1992–2003 and 2003–2013. The study concludes that the idea of mesocratization is questionable; between 1992 and 2013, there are substantially fewer people located in middle-class positions than in the “popular” classes (working class and informal self-employed). Moreover, the growth of the middle class has been relatively marginal and has been accompanied by trends that contradict the idea of a mesocratic society (such as the expansion of the working class between 2003 and 2013).