On the Unequal Inequality of Poor Communities

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Chris Elbers

Chris Elbers

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics; Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)

r F. Lanjouw

affiliation not provided to SSRN

n A. Mistiaen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG)

Ken Simler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Communities differ in important ways in their needs, capacities, and circumstances. Because central governments are not able to discern these differences fully, they seek to achieve their policy objectives by relying on decentralized mechanisms that use local information. Household and individual characteristics within communities can also vary substantially. A growing body of theoretical literature suggests that inequality within communities can influence policy outcomes in ways that are either harmful or helpful, depending on the circumstances. Until recently, empirical investigations into the impact of inequality have been held back by a lack of systematic evidence on community-level inequality. This study uses household survey and population census data to estimate per capita consumption inequality within communities in three developing economies. It finds that communities vary markedly in their degree of inequality. It also shows that there should be no presumption that inequality is less severe in poor communities. The kind of community-level inequality estimates generated here can be used in designing and evaluating decentralized antipoverty programs.

Suggested Citation

Elbers, Chris and Lanjouw, r F. and Mistiaen, n A. and Ozler, Berk and Simler, Ken, On the Unequal Inequality of Poor Communities ( 2004). The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 18, Issue 3, pp. 401-421, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=916884

Chris Elbers (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, School of Business and Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, 1081HV
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA) ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

R F. Lanjouw

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

N A. Mistiaen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/bozler

Ken Simler

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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