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Equity, Growth and Insurrection: Liberalisation and the Welfare Debate in Contemporary Sri Lanka

Author

Listed:
  • David Dunham

    (Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University)

  • Sisira Kumara Jayasuriya

    (Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University)

Abstract

This paper focuses on economic consequences of policy reforms and their social and political impacts. Our central argument is the following: (a) contrary to many assertions in the immediate post-reform period, economic liberalisation in Sri Lanka had a significant impact on both household and regional inequality, though not one that was reflected in the conventional statistical measures that informed and dominated policy; (b) the changes in wealth distribution were related to the altered pay-offs associated with certain assets (especially education) and people's access to them; (c) even if they were not reflected in conventional statistical measures, affected population groups were intensely aware of these changes in the distribution of relative wealth; and (d) their perceptions of increased inequality were magnified by a widening gap between expectations and the opportunities that were open to them.

Suggested Citation

  • David Dunham & Sisira Kumara Jayasuriya, 1998. "Equity, Growth and Insurrection: Liberalisation and the Welfare Debate in Contemporary Sri Lanka," Working Papers 1998.11, School of Economics, La Trobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ltr:wpaper:1998.11
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    Cited by:

    1. Thankom Arun & Vani Borooah & Shoba Arun, 2013. "Earnings inequality in sri lanka," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 47(1), pages 355-371, January-J.
    2. Ramani Gunatilaka & Duangkamon Chotikapanich, 2006. "Inequality Trends and Determinants in Sri Lanka 1980-2002: A Shapley Approach to Decomposition," Monash Econometrics and Business Statistics Working Papers 6/06, Monash University, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics.
    3. Ajwad, Mohamed Ihsan & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep, 2002. "Ethnic and gender wagedisparities in Sri Lanka," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2859, The World Bank.
    4. Ramani Gunatilaka & Duangkamon Chotikapanich, 2009. "Accounting For Sri Lanka'S Expenditure Inequality 1980-2002: Regression-Based Decomposition Approaches," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(4), pages 882-906, December.
    5. Thankom Arun & Vani K. Borooah, 2011. "The Gender impact in Earnings Inequality: Evidence from Sri Lanka," International Journal of Business and Economic Sciences Applied Research (IJBESAR), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology (EMATTECH), Kavala, Greece, vol. 4(2), pages 71-80, August.
    6. Rajesh Venugopal, "undated". "The Global Dimensions of Conflict in Sri Lanka," QEH Working Papers qehwps99, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    7. Yiping Huang & Jian Chang & Prema-Chandra Athukorala & Sisira Jayasuriya, 2013. "Economic Policy Shifts in Sri Lanka: The Post-Conflict Development Challenge," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 1-28, Summer.

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