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Poverty, Inequality and Conflict

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  • Kanbur, Ravi

Abstract

While there is a general view that poverty and inequality can lead to conflict and are therefore in this sense security issues, the precise nature of the links is less well appreciated. Focusing on conflicts within states, this paper draws out the links based on the recent economics literature, and discusses their implications for policy. It is argued that while inequality is a natural concomitant of economic processes, particularly those driven by the market, its implications for security emerge when unequal outcomes align with socio-political cleavages. Such an alignment can turn a benign outcome, in which increasing inequality might even help economic efficiency, into one in which conflict worsens the climate for investment even before, in the extreme, a collapse of the social order. A careful assessment of the intersection between economic outcomes and social divisions is necessary in designing policies and interventions for growth and poverty reduction.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/126997
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 126997.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:126997

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Keywords: Public Economics;

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  1. Angus Deaton & Valerie Kozel, 2005. "Data and Dogma: The Great Indian Poverty Debate," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 177-199.
  2. Paul Collier & V. L. Elliott & HÃ¥vard Hegre & Anke Hoeffler & Marta Reynal-Querol & Nicholas Sambanis, 2003. "Breaking the Conflict Trap : Civil War and Development Policy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13938.
  3. Ann Harrison, 2006. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 12347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Aisbett, Emma & Harrison, Ann & Zwane, Alix, 2006. "Globalization and poverty: what is the evidence?," MPRA Paper 36595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Dasgupta, Indraneel & Kanbur, Ravi, 2003. "Bridging Communal Divides: Separation, Patronage, Integration," Working Papers 127235, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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