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Income inequality in rural Pakistan-sources and decompositions

Shams, Khadija (2012): Income inequality in rural Pakistan-sources and decompositions.

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Abstract

This paper analyses income inequalities in rural Pakistan. Using household survey data, we decompose income inequality according to its different sources. We calculate Gini coefficients and Theil indices both within and across provinces and districts. A partial correlation analysis extends our descriptive investigation to reveal the different impacts of the various income sources on overall income inequalities. The unique focus on rural areas and the more disaggregated (district level) approach permits more nuanced policy implications. We find that inequality between districts is higher than within districts. Non-farm and transfer income have the strongest impact on income inequality across districts both in economic and econometric terms. While the former source of income is inequality increasing, transfer income tends to reduce inequalities. Our results highlight in particular the need for factor mobility to facilitate transfer income.

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