IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/unu/wpaper/wp2014-050.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Dimensions of African inequality

Author

Listed:
  • Bigsten, Arne

Abstract

This paper discusses dimensions of inequality in sub-Saharan Africa and their causes. It starts with a review of the empirical evidence about inequality during the colonial period as well as the post-independence era. Then it discusses the forces that determine inequality change, focusing on factor accumulation and structural change. Next it considers the relationship between inequality and growth, the role of agriculture in the development process, the relationships between ethnicity and social stratification and governance, and external influences on inequality. The paper concludes with some comments on what policy interventions can do to reduce inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Bigsten, Arne, 2014. "Dimensions of African inequality," WIDER Working Paper Series 050, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2014-050
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/wp2014-050.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    2. Bigsten, Arne & Kebede, Bereket & Shimeles, Abebe & Taddesse, Mekonnen, 2003. "Growth and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia: Evidence from Household Panel Surveys," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 87-106, January.
    3. Ken Jackson, 2013. "Diversity and the Distribution of Public Goods in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(3), pages 437-462, June.
    4. Ann-Sofie Isaksson, 2011. "Social divisions and institutions: assessing institutional parameter variation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 331-357, June.
    5. David E. Sahn & David C. Stifel, 2003. "Urban--Rural Inequality in Living Standards in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(4), pages 564-597, December.
    6. Denis Cogneau & Thomas Bossuroy & Philippe De Vreyer & Charlotte Guénard & Victor Hiller & Phillippe Leite & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps & Laure Pasquier-Doumer & Constance Torelli, 2006. "Inequalities and equity in Africa," Working Papers DT/2006/11, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    7. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Ethnicity, Governance and the Provision of Public Goods," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(1), pages 62-99, April.
    8. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:2:p:465-90 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Christopher Barrett & Paswel Phiri Marenya & John Mcpeak & Bart Minten & Festus Murithi & Willis Oluoch-Kosura & Frank Place & Jean Claude Randrianarisoa & Jhon Rasambainarivo & Justine Wangila, 2006. "Welfare dynamics in rural Kenya and Madagascar," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 248-277.
    10. repec:cup:apsrev:v:104:y:2010:i:04:p:644-662_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Simon Johnson & Jonathan D. Ostry & Arvind Subramanian, 2007. "The Prospects for Sustained Growth in Africa: Benchmarking the Constraints," NBER Working Papers 13120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
    13. Augustin Kwasi Fosu, 2009. "Inequality and the Impact of Growth on Poverty: Comparative Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(5), pages 726-745.
    14. Alberto Alesina & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2011. "Segregation and the Quality of Government in a Cross Section of Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1872-1911, August.
    15. Barrett, Christopher B., 1998. "Immiserized growth in liberalized agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 743-753, May.
    16. repec:cup:apsrev:v:101:y:2007:i:04:p:709-725_07 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Maxim Pinkovskiy, 2010. "African Poverty is Falling...Much Faster than You Think!," NBER Working Papers 15775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Arne Bigsten & Abebe Shimeles, 2007. "Can Africa Reduce Poverty by Half by 2015?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(2), pages 147-166, March.
    19. Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
    20. Bigsten, Arne & Mengistae, Taye & Shimeles, Abebe, 2007. "Mobility and earnings in Ethiopia's urban labor markets, 1994-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4168, The World Bank.
    21. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-142, March.
    22. Andreas P. Kyriacou, 2013. "Ethnic Group Inequalities and Governance: Evidence from Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 78-101, February.
    23. repec:hrv:faseco:30752835 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    25. Habyarimana, James P. & Humphreys, Macartan & Posner, Daniel N. & Weinstein, Jeremy, 2006. "Why Does Ethnic Diversity Undermine Public Goods Provision? An Experimental Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2272, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    26. Andy McKay, 2013. "Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa in the Last Two Decades: Evidence from an AERC Growth-Poverty Project and Beyond," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(suppl_1), pages -76, January.
    27. Arne Bigsten & Sven Tengstam, 2011. "Smallholder Diversification and Income Growth in Zambia," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(5), pages 781-822, November.
    28. Murray Leibbrandt & Arden Finn & Ingrid Woolard, 2012. "Describing and decomposing post-apartheid income inequality in South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 19-34, March.
    29. Erik Thorbecke, 2013. "The Interrelationship Linking Growth, Inequality and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 22(suppl_1), pages -48, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:arp:ijefrr:2017:p:91-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hassine, Nadia Belhaj, 2015. "Economic Inequality in the Arab Region," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 532-556.
    3. Aleh Mazol, 2016. "Spatial wage inequality in Belarus," BEROC Working Paper Series 35, Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center (BEROC).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; poverty; growth; structural change; endowments; employment; Africa;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2014-050. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mauricio Roa Grisales). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/widerfi.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.