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Dimensions of African inequality

Listed author(s):
  • Bigsten, Arne

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.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/sites/default/files/wp2014-050.pdf
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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series WIDER Working Paper Series with number 050.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: 2014
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2014-050
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  1. 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.
  2. Alesina, Alberto & Perotti, Roberto, 1996. "Income distribution, political instability, and investment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1203-1228, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Leonard Wantchekon, 2003. "Clientelism and voting behavior: Evidence from a field experiment in benin," Natural Field Experiments 00339, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
  8. Arvind Subramanian & Jonathan David Ostry & Simon Johnson, 2007. "The Prospects for Sustained Growth in Africa; Benchmarking the Constraints," IMF Working Papers 07/52, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Ann-Sofie Isaksson, 2011. "Social divisions and institutions: assessing institutional parameter variation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 331-357, June.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Andreas P. Kyriacou, 2013. "Ethnic Group Inequalities and Governance: Evidence from Developing Countries," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(1), pages 78-101, 02.
  13. repec:hrv:faseco:30752835 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Perotti, Roberto & Alesina, Alberto, 1996. "Income Distribution, Political Instability, and Investment," Scholarly Articles 4553018, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Barrett, Christopher B., 1998. "Immiserized growth in liberalized agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 743-753, May.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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).
  24. 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.
  25. 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, 03.
  26. 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.
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