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Historical origins of persistent inequality in Nigeria

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  • Belinda Archibong

Abstract

Horizontal inequality by ethnic group has remained remarkably persistent for wealth, education and access to certain public services in Nigeria. While there has been notable progress made towards improving access to, and reducing ethnic inequality in access to locally administered services like some sanitation services and potable water, outcomes are stickier for wealth, education and historically federally administered services like grid-based power access in the country. Populations in the Northwest and Northeast ethnic and geopolitical zones consistently report below national mean levels of wealth, education and electricity, while there have been significant gains made in closing the ethnic gap in access to water and sanitation over time. This paper explores different explanations for the patterns observed and puts forth the thesis that persistent ethnic inequality in access to federally administered services is partly driven by historical heterogeneous federal government policy towards different groups in Nigeria.

Suggested Citation

  • Belinda Archibong, 2018. "Historical origins of persistent inequality in Nigeria," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(3), pages 325-347, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:46:y:2018:i:3:p:325-347
    DOI: 10.1080/13600818.2017.1416072
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    Cited by:

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    2. Johan Fourie & Nonso Obikili, 2019. "Decolonizing with data: The cliometric turn in African economic history," Working Papers 02/2019, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    3. Carla Canelas & Rachel M. Gisselquist, 2018. "Horizontal inequality as a dependent variable," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-70, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Bolt, Jutta & Gardner, Leigh, 2020. "How Africans Shaped British Colonial Institutions: Evidence from Local Taxation," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 80(4), pages 1189-1223, December.
    5. Maxwell Mkondiwa, 2020. "Mancala board games and origins of entrepreneurship in Africa," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(10), pages 1-23, October.
    6. Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2020. "Historical Legacies and African Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 53-128, March.
    7. Olutayo Adeyemi & Mariama Toure & Namukolo Covic & Mara Bold & Nicholas Nisbett & Derek Headey, 2022. "Understanding drivers of stunting reduction in Nigeria from 2003 to 2018: a regression analysis," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 14(4), pages 995-1011, August.
    8. Carla Canelas & Rachel M. Gisselquist, 2018. "Horizontal inequality as a dependent variable," WIDER Working Paper Series 70, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Franklin Obeng‐Odoom, 2021. "Oil Cities in Africa: Beyond Just Transition," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(2), pages 777-821, March.
    10. Funjika, Patricia & Getachew, Yoseph Y., 2022. "Colonial origin, ethnicity and intergenerational mobility in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 153(C).
    11. Bolt, Jutta & Gardner, Leigh, 2019. "African institutions under colonial rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 14198, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Archibong, Belinda, 2019. "Explaining divergence in the long-term effects of precolonial centralization on access to public infrastructure services in Nigeria," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 123-140.
    13. Belinda Archibong & Brahima Coulibaly & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 2021. "Washington Consensus Reforms and Lessons for Economic Performance in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 133-156, Summer.
    14. Olutayo Adeyemi & Mara Bold & Nicholas Nisbett & Namukolo Covic, 2023. "Changes in Nigeria’s enabling environment for nutrition from 2008 to 2019 and challenges for reducing malnutrition," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 15(2), pages 343-361, April.

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