Journal Special Issue
Horizontal inequality in the Global South

Data, measurement, and trends

Inequality and social exclusion receive considerable contemporary policy attention. In the field of international development, inequality—both vertical (between individuals and households) and horizontal (between groups)—is a core concern in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Despite considerable attention to horizontal inequality in both research and policy, there are notable gaps and weaknesses in our empirical knowledge about how it manifests within and across countries and over time.

This has implications not only for the rigour with which we can build and test theories in this area, but also for informing policy, monitoring trends, and evaluating the impact of interventions. This article probes what more can be learned from existing survey and census data to address empirical gaps. It argues that key methodological, conceptual, and—in particular—political issues pose persistent challenges for such survey and census data on topics relating to ‘ethnicity’ broadly defined.

These challenges imply not only real limits in the so-called data revolution for sustainable development, but also risks to ‘evidence-based’ policy making in this area when it relies too heavily on quantitative data. 

Table of contents
  1. 1. Horizontal Inequality and Data Challenges
    Carla Canelas, Rachel M. Gisselquist
    More Working Paper | Horizontal inequality and data challenges
  2. 2. Inequality Between Whom?: Patterns, Trends, and Implications of Horizontal Inequality in the Philippines
    Omar Shahabudin McDoom, Celia M. Reyes, Christian D. Mina, Ronina D. Asis
    More Working Paper | Inequality of opportunities among ethnic groups in the Philippines
  3. 3. Does Horizontal Inequality Matter in Vietnam?
    Hoai Thi Thu Dang
    More Working Paper | Group-based inequalities
  4. 4. Vertical and Horizontal Inequality in Ecuador: The Lack of Sustainability
    Iván Gachet, Diego Grijalva, Paúl Ponce, Damián Rodríguez
    More Working Paper | Vertical and horizontal inequality in Ecuador
  5. 5. Patronage and Public Goods Provisioning in an Unequal Land
    Hadia Majid, Rashid Memon
    More Working Paper | Group inequality and regional development
  6. 6. Iran’s Multi-ethnic Mosaic: A 23-Year Perspective
    Mahdi Majbouri, Sanaz Fesharaki
    More Working Paper | Iran’s multi-ethnic mosaic
  7. 7. Inequality in Education and Wealth in Tanzania: A 25-Year Perspective
    Emmanuel Maliti
    More Working Paper | Horizontal inequality in education and wealth in Tanzania
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