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Explaining Persistance n Change

Explaining Persistance n Change

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Published by siscani
In many cases Horizontal Inequalities or inequalities among groups (HIs) persist over
long periods. Where they persist they are particularly deleterious as they trap people, generation after generation, in a situation of poverty. These conditions may also give rise to greater social instability. Consequently, this paper is devoted to understanding the determinants of socio-economic HIs over time, why they are so persistent in some cases but prove temporary in others. It does so by presenting a general
framework in which omplementarities between the productivity and accumulation of different types of capital tend to lead to self-perpetuating cycles of success and failure, particularly given the asymmetric social capital between different identity groups. Case studies of HIs over time in Peru, Ghana and the United States illustrate the persistence of HIs and the reasons for this; the examples of Northern Ireland and Malaysia show that HIs can narrow sharply, given strong government interventions; some Asian immigrant groups in the US (Filipino and Japanese) have caught up without government intervention, primarily because the immigrants were selected as having high levels of human capital and they brought with them a culture of
achievement. The conclusion is that persistence of HIs is not inevitable, but interventions are generally needed in relation to both human capital accumulation and economic disadvantage if groups are to catch up.
In many cases Horizontal Inequalities or inequalities among groups (HIs) persist over
long periods. Where they persist they are particularly deleterious as they trap people, generation after generation, in a situation of poverty. These conditions may also give rise to greater social instability. Consequently, this paper is devoted to understanding the determinants of socio-economic HIs over time, why they are so persistent in some cases but prove temporary in others. It does so by presenting a general
framework in which omplementarities between the productivity and accumulation of different types of capital tend to lead to self-perpetuating cycles of success and failure, particularly given the asymmetric social capital between different identity groups. Case studies of HIs over time in Peru, Ghana and the United States illustrate the persistence of HIs and the reasons for this; the examples of Northern Ireland and Malaysia show that HIs can narrow sharply, given strong government interventions; some Asian immigrant groups in the US (Filipino and Japanese) have caught up without government intervention, primarily because the immigrants were selected as having high levels of human capital and they brought with them a culture of
achievement. The conclusion is that persistence of HIs is not inevitable, but interventions are generally needed in relation to both human capital accumulation and economic disadvantage if groups are to catch up.

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Published by: siscani on Jul 13, 2009
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Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford
Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, CRISEQueen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, Mansfield Rd, OX1 3TB, UKTel: +44 1865 281810; Fax: +44 1865 281801; http://www.crise.ox.ac.uk/ 
Horizontal inequalities:Explaining persistence andchange
Frances Stewart and Arnim LangerCRISE WORKING PAPER No. 39August, 2007
 
 
 
CRISE Working Paper No. 39 
1
Horizontal inequalities: Explaining persistence and change
Abstract 
In many cases Horizontal Inequalities or inequalities among groups (HIs) persist overlong periods. Where they persist they are particularly deleterious as they trap people,generation after generation, in a situation of poverty. These conditions may also giverise to greater social instability. Consequently, this paper is devoted to understandingthe determinants of socio-economic HIs over time, why they are so persistent insome cases but prove temporary in others. It does so by presenting a generalframework in which complementarities between the productivity and accumulation ofdifferent types of capital tend to lead to self-perpetuating cycles of success andfailure, particularly given the asymmetric social capital between different identitygroups. Case studies of HIs over time in Peru, Ghana and the United States illustratethe persistence of HIs and the reasons for this; the examples of Northern Ireland andMalaysia show that HIs can narrow sharply, given strong government interventions;some Asian immigrant groups in the US (Filipino and Japanese) have caught upwithout government intervention, primarily because the immigrants were selected ashaving high levels of human capital and they brought with them a culture ofachievement. The conclusion is that persistence of HIs is not inevitable, butinterventions are generally needed in relation to both human capital accumulationand economic disadvantage if groups are to catch up
The authors 
Frances Stewart is Professor of Development Economics at the University of Oxfordand Director of the Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity(CRISE), Department of International Development, University of Oxford.Email:frances.stewart@qeh.ox.ac.uk Arnim Langer is CRISE Research Officer in Economics and Politics, West Africa.Email:arnim.langer@qeh.ox.ac.uk 
 
CRISE Working Paper No. 39 
2
Table of Contents
1. Introduction...........................................................................................................3
 
2. A framework for considering the evolution of HIs...................................................5
 
3. Evidence for the persistence and change of HIs..................................................13
 
3.1 Education, labour markets and persistent inequality in Peru 
..........................13
 
3.2 North-south inequalities in Ghana 
..................................................................14
 
3.3 Black/white inequalities in the United States 
..................................................18
 
3.4 Protestant/Catholic inequalities in Northern Ireland 
.......................................20
 
3.5 Malay/Chinese inequalities in Malaysia 
.........................................................23
 
3.6 Japanese, Chinese and Filipino immigrants in the United States 
...................25
 
4. Conclusions and policy implications....................................................................29
 
5. References..........................................................................................................33
 
List of Figures
Figure 1: Variations in returns to social capital according to other assets..................8
 
Figure 2: Variations in returns to financial capital according to group discrimination..9
 
Figure 3: Interethnic differences in returns to education in Peru..............................14
 
Figure 4: The evolution of horizontal inequalities in Northern Ireland.......................22
 
Figure 5: The evolution of different horizontal inequality indicators in Malaysia,......23
 
Figure 6: The evolution of income inequalities in Malaysia, 1970-2002...................25
 
List of Tables
Table 1: Educational inequality in Peru, 2003..........................................................13
 
Table 2: Infant/child mortality rates for 1931 and 1993............................................16
 
Table 3: Socioeconomic inequalities across Ghana's regions in the 1990s.............17
 
Table 4: Wealth by income and race.......................................................................18
 
Table 5: College attendance and completion by race, person 25 or older, 1960-1995................................................................................................................................19
 
Table 6: The evolution of educational differences between whites, blacks and threeAsian immigrant groups in the US, 1940-1990........................................................27
 
Table 7: Average wages and earnings of male workers, 2000.................................28
 

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