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Spatial Comparisons of Poverty and Inequality in Living Standards in Malawi

Mussa, Richard (2010): Spatial Comparisons of Poverty and Inequality in Living Standards in Malawi.

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Abstract

The paper looks at poverty and inequality across areas in Malawi. The focus is on both monetary (consumption) and non monetary (health and education) dimensions of well being. Stochastic poverty dominance tests show that rural areas are poorer in the three dimensions regardless of poverty line chosen. Stochastic inequality dominance tests find that the north and south dominate the centre in health inequality, and there is no dominance between the north and south. With respect to education inequality, dominance is declared for the south-centre pair only. A sub group decomposition analysis finds that the south contributes the most to consumption and education poverty while the centre is the largest contributor to health poverty. We establish that within area inequalities (vertical inequalities) rather than between area inequalities (horizontal inequalities) are the major driver of consumption, health, and education inequality in Malawi.

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