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Night lights and regional income inequality in Africa

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  • Mveyange Anthony

Abstract

Estimating regional income inequality in Africa has been challenging due to the lack of reliable and consistent sub-national income data. I employ night lights data to circumvent this limitation. I find significant and positive associations between regional inequality visible through night lights and income in Africa. Thus, in the absence of income data, we can construct regional inequality proxies using night lights data. Further investigation on the night lights-based regional inequality trends reveals two main findings: first, increasing regional inequality trends between 1992 and 2003; and second, declining regional inequality trends between 2004 and 2012.

Suggested Citation

  • Mveyange Anthony, 2015. "Night lights and regional income inequality in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 085, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2015-085
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    Cited by:

    1. Eric Gaisie, 2017. "Living standards in pre-independent Ghana: evidence from household budgets," HHB Working Papers Series 7, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    2. Axel Dreher & Steffen Lohmann, 2015. "Aid and growth at the regional level," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(3-4), pages 420-446.
    3. Castells-Quintana, David, 2017. "Malthus living in a slum: Urban concentration, infrastructure and economic growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 158-173.
    4. Pfeifer, Gregor & Wahl, Fabian & Marczak, Martyna, 2016. "Illuminating the world cup effect: Night lights evidence from South Africa," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 16-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    5. Lessmann, Christian & Seidel, André, 2017. "Regional inequality, convergence, and its determinants – A view from outer space," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 110-132.
    6. Tony Addison & Amadou Boly & Anthony Mveyange, 2016. "Mining and economic development: Did China's WTO accession affect African local economic development?," WIDER Working Paper Series 141, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Addison,Tony & Boly,Amadou & Mveyange,Anthony Francis, 2017. "The impact of mining on spatial inequality recent evidence from Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7960, The World Bank.
    8. Thomas Ferreira, 2018. "Using satellite data to track socio-economic outcomes: a case study of Namibia," Working Papers 12/2018, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    Economic growth; Income distribution; Poverty; Regional economics;

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