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Promoting Group Justice: Fiscal Policies in Post-Conflict Countries


  • Frances Stewart
  • Alex Cobham
  • Graham Brown


In the aftermath of violent conflict, governments have an opportunity to address fundamental inequalities between internal groups. As taxation and expenditure policies are developed to rebuild a functional domestic economy and infrastructure, policies can be designed to lessen divisions and promote equity.The authors assert that good data about the status quo on inequality in a country is the first step to addressing it through policy. They then discuss some options for formulating a tax code that addresses distributional issues and increases progressivity. Expenditure planning can also be designed to help create equity in income and non-income resources, such as public services, employment, health and education. The role of aid donors is discussed, particularly as a source of successful strategies gleaned from other post-conflict countries.This study is part of a series on Public Finance in Post-Conflict Environments, published jointly by PERI and New York University's Center on International Cooperation.

Suggested Citation

  • Frances Stewart & Alex Cobham & Graham Brown, 2007. "Promoting Group Justice: Fiscal Policies in Post-Conflict Countries," Working Papers wp155, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  • Handle: RePEc:uma:periwp:wp155

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frances Stewart, 2000. "Crisis Prevention: Tackling Horizontal Inequalities," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(3), pages 245-262.
    2. Tomoki Fujii, 2006. "How Well Can We Target Resources with “Quick-and-Dirty†Data? : Empirical Results from Cambodia," Development Economics Working Papers 22491, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Alex Cobham (QEH), "undated". "Causes of conflict in Sudan: Testing the Black Book," QEH Working Papers qehwps121, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    4. Ehtisham Ahmad & Raju J Singh, 2003. "Political Economy of Oil-Revenue Sharing in a Developing Country; Illustrations from Nigeria," IMF Working Papers 03/16, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Paul Collier & Anke Hoeffler, 2004. "Greed and grievance in civil war," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(4), pages 563-595, October.
    6. van de Walle, Dominique & Gunewardena, Dileni, 2001. "Sources of ethnic inequality in Viet Nam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 177-207, June.
    7. Juha Auvinen & E. Wayne Nafziger, 1999. "The Sources of Humanitarian Emergencies," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 43(3), pages 267-290, June.
    8. Barlow, Robin & Snyder, Wayne, 1993. "Taxation in Niger: Problems and proposals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1179-1189, July.
    9. Megan Beckett & Anne R. Pebley, 2002. "Ethnicity, Language, and Economic Well-Being in Rural Guatemala," Working Papers 02-05, RAND Corporation.
    10. Shankar, Raja & Shah, Anwar, 2003. "Bridging the Economic Divide Within Countries: A Scorecard on the Performance of Regional Policies in Reducing Regional Income Disparities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1421-1441, August.
    11. Hofman, Bert & Kadjatmiko & Kaiser, Kai & Suharnoko Sjahrir, Bambang, 2006. "Evaluating fiscal equalization in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3911, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lin Yang, 2017. "The relationship between poverty and inequality: Concepts and measurement," CASE Papers /205, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

    More about this item


    inequality; horizontal inequality; post-conflict economies; fiscal policies; taxation incidence; expenditure incidence;

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development


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