Book Chapter

Inequality trends and dynamics, the bird’s-eye and the granular perspectives

India in the early years of the twenty-first century achieved per capita growth rates that were historically unprecedented. Poverty reduction also accelerated. There is concern, however, that this growth was accompanied by a rise in inequality.

In this chapter, we report on a research project that examines inequality trends and dynamics at the all-India level over three decades up to 2011/12 and contrasts these with evidence at the level of the village, or the urban block. We further unpack inequality to explore dynamics in terms of the movement of people within the income distribution over time. The assessment of mobility is informed both by evidence at the very local-level, and by aggregate, national-level, trends.

The study attempts, further, to assess horizontal inequalities into a measure of inequality of opportunity as captured by inter-generational mobility in education outcomes.