Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminars

Are Neighbors Equal? Estimating Local Inequality in Three Developing Countries

Tuesday, January 28, 2003 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Peter Lanjouw and Berk Özler of the World Bank research department presented a new method for combining survey and census data to estimate income inequality at the local level in developing countries -- an exercise known as 'poverty mapping'.  In “Are Neighbors Equal? Estimating Local Inequality in Three Developing Countries” they test their method on real data from Ecuador, Madagascar, and Mozambique, showing that in all three countries most communities score much lower than the national average on standard measures of inequality.  To the degree that local inequality influences the effectiveness of antipoverty interventions, such data could be crucial to specificity in aid policy.