Macro Adjustment Policies and Horizontal Inequalities

Date: Oct, 2007
ODID Working Paper No. 158
Author(s): Arnim Langer, Frances Stewart (QEH)

While there has been a considerable amount of analysis on the impact of structural adjustment policies on poverty and inequality among individuals (or what we define here as vertical inequality - VI), there has been almost none into the impact of structural adjustment on inequality between culturally defined groups, or horizontal inequality (HI). Although relatively neglected in economic analysis, socio-economic HIs are important from a number of perspectives - they can have adverse effects on the wellbeing of members of the deprived groups, they can impede efficiency, they may make it very difficult to eradicate poverty, they lead to unfair and exclusionary societies, and they raise the risk of violent conflict. Hence it is important to analyse the impact of structural adjustment policies on HIs - which is the aim of this paper.

ODID Author(s)