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Inequalities and equity in Africa


Author Info

  • Denis Cogneau

    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Thomas Bossuroy

    (EHESS, DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Philippe De Vreyer

    (Université de Lille II, DIAL)

  • Charlotte Guénard


  • Victor Hiller

    (DIAL, Université Paris-I)

  • Phillippe Leite

    (EHESS, DIAL, Paris)

  • Sandrine Mesplé-Somps

    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • Laure Pasquier-Doumer

    (DIAL, IEP-Paris)

  • Constance Torelli



A new analysis of large-sample surveys in five comparable Sub-Saharan African countries allows measuring for the first time inequality of opportunity in Africa, aside inequality of resources and of living standards. We confirm the prevalence of high levels of inequality among the region’s countries. Yet we also find considerable differences in the structures of this inequality. Furthermore, intergenerational educational and occupational mobility and the equality of opportunity for income between social origins are quite definitely greater in countries where income inequality is lower, such as Ghana and Uganda, than in higher-inequality countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Madagascar. _________________________________ Une exploitation nouvelle d’enquêtes à large échantillon concernant cinq pays d’Afrique subsaharienne permet pour la première fois de mesurer l’inégalité des chances en Afrique, à côté des inégalités de ressources et de conditions de vie. Nous confirmons l’existence d’inégalités prononcées au sein des pays de cette région, mais nous révélons aussi de fortes différences dans les structures de ces inégalités. L’essentiel de ces différences provient des écarts de revenu entre l’agriculture et les autres secteurs, et de l’échelle des rémunérations non agricoles. Au Ghana ou en Ouganda, la mobilité intergénérationnelle scolaire et professionnelle et l’égalité des chances devant le revenu entre les différentes origines sociales sont nettement plus fortes que dans les pays plus inégalitaires que sont la Côte d’Ivoire, la Guinée et Madagascar.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2006/11.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200611

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Keywords: Inégalités de revenu; Égalité des chances; Mobilité intergénérationnelle; Afrique; Income inequality; equality of opportunity; intergenerational mobility; Africa.;

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Cited by:
  1. Abras, Ana & Cuesta, Jose, 2011. "Equality of opportunities, redistribution and fiscal policies : the case of Liberia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5801, The World Bank.
  2. Laure Pasquier-Doumer, 2013. "Intergenerational Transmission of Self-Employed Status in the Informal Sector: A Constrained Choice or Better Income Prospects? Evidence from Seven West African Countries," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(1), pages 73-111, January.
  3. Bossuroy, Thomas, 2011. "Ethnicity and Election Outcomes in Ghana," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6268, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Ashish Singh, 2011. "Gender based intra-household inequality of opportunity in academic skills among Indian children," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2333-2346.
  5. Ferreira , Francisco H. G. & Gignoux, Jeremie, 2008. "The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4659, The World Bank.
  6. Thomas Bossuroy, 2011. "Ethnicity and Election Outcomes in Ghana," Working Papers DT/2011/05, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).


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