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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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Inequality and Development: An Overview

Inequality and Development: An Overview

Chapter:
(p.98) Chapter 6 Inequality and Development: An Overview
Source:
International Development
Author(s):

Frances Stewart

Emma Samman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.003.0007

Inequality is one of the most important issues in development. seen as unjust from most philosophical perspectives, the evidence indicates it is deleterious to well-being generally, social stability, economic growth, and prosperity. Inequality may be among individuals, groups, or nations. The main focus is on vertical (individual) and horizontal (group) inequality. Inequality may be defined in different “spaces” or dimensions, including income, assets, capabilities, happiness, or opportunities, with the appropriate space depending on the objective. This chapter briefly reviews measurement issues and explores recent trends. Despite its negative effects, inequalityseems to be increasing in many countries, and policies aimed at reducing it tend to be weak. There are more ambiguous conclusions with respect to inter-country income inequality, income inequality among global citizens, and inequality among groups. The range of policies relevant to reducing inequality is well known, but forms little of the current policy agenda, largely because of a lack of political support.

Keywords:   inequality, horizontal inequalities, poverty, growth, capabilities, Kuznets curve, Gini coefficient

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