Gauging the potential for social unrest
AbstractIt stands to reason that social unrest does not erupt out of the blue. Although there are a great many reasons why social dismay might descend into social disorder, only few yardsticks or indices can plausibly be used to gauge the potential for social unrest (PSU). If policy makers want to undertake public action to prevent social dismay escalating into social disruption, they obviously need to draw on practical sensors. This paper assesses critically the adequacy of two such measures, the polarization (P) index, and the total relative deprivation (TRD) index. The paper proposes a tentative guide to selecting between these two measures. A review of three stylized scenarios suggests that, where income redistributions reduce the number of distinct income groups, and when each group is characterized by a strong sense of within-group identity, the P index surpasses the TRD index as a basis for predicting PSU. When the within-group identification is weak, however, it is better to use the TRD index to predict PSU.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF) in its series Discussion Papers with number 53721.
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Social dismay; The potential for social unrest; Polarization; Total relative deprivation; Policy choice; Public Economics; D31; D63;
Other versions of this item:
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-10-03 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jean-Yves Duclos & Joan Esteban & Debraj Ray, 2003.
"Polarization: Concepts, Measurement, Estimation,"
46, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
- Bossert, Walter & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2006.
"Reference groups and individual deprivation,"
Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 421-426, March.
- BOSSERT, Walter & D'AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2004. "Reference Groups and Individual Deprivation," Cahiers de recherche 2004-10, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- BOSSERT, Walter & D’AMBROSIO, Conchita, 2004. "Reference Groups and Individual Deprivation," Cahiers de recherche 13-2004, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Atin Basuchoudhary & William Shughart, 2010. "On Ethnic Conflict And The Origins Of Transnational Terrorism," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 65-87.
- Stark, Oded, 2006.
"Inequality and migration: A behavioral link,"
Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 146-152, April.
- Esteban, J.M. & Ray, D., 1992.
"On the Measurement of Polarization,"
UFAE and IAE Working Papers
171.92, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Esteban, J. & Ray, D., 1993. "On the Measurement of Polarization," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 221.93, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
- Joan-Maria Esteban & Debraj Ray, 1991. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 18, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
- Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.