Working Paper
Rural-Urban Dimensions of Inequality Change

For developing and transitional countries we explore trends in rural-urban, intrarural and intraurban inequality of income, poverty risk, health and education. In particular, we ask whether behind generally rising inequality post-1980 lie offsetting inter and intrasectoral trends, with narrowing rural-urban gaps - perhaps due to adjustment - being more than offset by rising intrasectoral inequality. Our main finding is that there is no such pattern. Rural-urban gaps in mean consumption and poverty incidence have narrowed in Africa, widened in Asia, but show no global trend, usually moving in the same direction as overall inequality. Anyway divergence in, say, per person consumption need not mean that urban bias has increased: ecogenous factors finding of rising urban/rural 'odds ratios' in education (and to some extent health) indicators does seem to indicate rising urban bias.