Video: Approaches Towards Inequality and Inequity
Dr. Frances Stewart outlines thinking on horizontal and vertical inequality in the context of UNICEF’s work. ©2013 UNICEF (English only)

— Abstract

Inequality is one of the most important issues in development. Inequality could be defined in different “spaces” including: income, assets, capabilities, happiness, or opportunities; and according to direction: vertical (individual) and horizontal (group). Most philosophical perspectives agree that inequality–be it among individuals, groups, or nations– is unjust and deleterious to well being, social stability, economic growth and prosperity. Despite its negative effects, inequality, broadly, seems to be increasing in many countries, and policies aimed at reducing it tend to be weak. Analysis of in-country policies aimed at reducing inequality show the need for stronger political support in order to achieve desired goals. The conclusions around inter-country income inequality, income inequality among global citizens, and inequality among groups are more ambiguous.

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— Suggested Readings

Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J. (2012). Why nations fail: the origins of power, prosperity, and poverty. Crown Business.

Cockburn, John, and Jane Kabubo-Mariara. (2010). Child welfare in developing countries. New York: Springer. [PDF 166MB]

Cornia, Giovanni. A. (2004). Inequality, growth, and poverty in an era of liberalization and globalization. Oxford, Oxford University Press. [PDF 130KB]

Keeley, B. (2015). Income Inequality: The Gap between the Rich and the Poor. OECD Insights, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Milanovic, Branko (2011) The Haves And The Have-Nots. A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality. New York. Basic Books.

Roemer, John E. (1998). Equality of opportunity. Cambridge, Mass. ; London, Harvard University Press.

Sen, Amartya. K. (1980). Equality of What? Tanner Lectures on Human Values. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (LINK: ) [PDF 200KB]

Soares, Maria Clara Couto, Mario Scerri, and Rasigan Maharajh. (2014). Inequality and development challenges. Milton Mark, Abingdon, UK: Routledge. (Résumé en français disponible ici)

Stewart, Frances, (ed.). (2008). Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies. London, Palgrave.

Stiglitz, J. (2012). The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers our Future. Penguin UK.