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Poverty and Inequality in Standards of Living in Malawi: Does Religious Affiliation Matter?

Mussa, Richard (2010): Poverty and Inequality in Standards of Living in Malawi: Does Religious Affiliation Matter?

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Abstract

This paper looks at whether or not there are differences in consumption, health, and education poverty and inequality among Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and followers of indigenous religions in Malawi. Poverty dominance tests show that Catholics have the lowest levels of consumption and education poverty. Inequality dominance tests indicate that Muslims are more equal in terms of consumption than Catholics, however, Catholics are more health equal than Protestants. Protestants are found to be the largest contributors to national poverty and inequality in the three dimensions of well being. Within religious grouping inequalities (vertical inequalities) are the major driver of national consumption and health inequality. In contrast, most of the national education inequality is due to between religious grouping inequalities (horizontal inequalities).

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