Horizontal and Intersecting Wealth Inequalities in Mozambique – 1997 to 2017

This seminar is organised jointly with the Institute for International Economic Policy at George Washington University and the UNDP Human Development Report Office. This seminar will be held online: gwu-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0kdeGqrDsuGdPkph4654bDSSzBglldtA9n

This study seeks to add to the research on inequality in Least Developed Countries, namely in Mozambique, by measuring and mapping indicators of between-group and within-group wealth inequality along geographic and ethnolinguistic identities. Using census data for 1997, 2007 and 2017, we adapt the Multidimensional Poverty Index applied by the Government of Mozambique to build a corresponding Household Wealth Index. We use it to identify possible intersecting inequalities, measuring between-group inequality along joint provincial – urban/rural – ethnolinguistic identities. Additionally, we find heterogeneous evolutions of group inequality between 1997 and 2017 among the country’s eleven provinces.
We find that, while there is a general improvement in the average household wealth indicators, there is a strong suggestion of increasing group inequalities between 1997 and 2017. While this is manifest throughout the country, in general, there is evidence that the Southern provinces may be experiencing a more equitable development. We find evidence that this evolution may be driven by a urban-rural decoupling, added to low internal migration.
These are insights from correlates. No causal inference can be made from this analysis. However, the differences in average wealth between groups, if perceived, may feed grievances. They should be better understood, so that underlying causes can be addressed.

About the speaker:
Ricardo Santos is a Research Fellow of the United Nations University World Institute of Development Economics Research – UNU-WIDER, stationed in Maputo, Mozambique, as Technical Advisor to the Centre of Economics and Management Studies at the Faculty of Economics of Eduardo Mondlane University. His doctoral research examined the post-conflict labour market and education sector in Timor-Leste, looking at the medium-run impact of exposure to violence and conflict produce on the households ’choices regarding education. His recent research has focused on the Mozambican labour market, school-to-work transition and on poverty and inequality. His previous work in the development field includes voluntary work for one year in Timor-Leste as a member of a Portuguese NGO and, Program Manager for Timor-Leste and Angola and Deputy Executive Officer of the same NGO.

About the discussant:
Heriberto Tapia has been a senior member of the
writing-research team at the Human Development Report Office (HDRO) since 2014. Previously, he served in the Executive Office of UNDP (2012-2014) and in the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (1998-2005). He has worked as a consultant to the IMF, UNDP and ECLAC. Furthermore, he has been a lecturer at Columbia University (New York), University of Chile (Santiago) and University Diego Portales (Santiago). Heriberto holds a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University, and a Master’s degree in economics and a Commercial Engineering degree from the University of Chile.

About the Series: The Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP) at George Washington University and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report Office (UNDP HDRO), are pleased to announce new events in our special seminar series on the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (global MPI). Goal 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to end poverty in all its forms and dimensions. The global MPI 2020 offers a tool to make progress towards this goal.

Produced in partnership with the UNDP HDRO, the global MPI 2020 compares acute multidimensional poverty for 107 countries in developing regions and provides a detailed image of who is poor and how they are poor. It offers both a global headline and a fine-grained analysis covering 1,279 sub-national regions, and important disaggregation such as children, and people living in urban or rural areas, together with the indicator deprivations of each group. Bringing together the academic and policy spheres, this series of seminars will highlight topics such as sensitivity analyses, overlapping deprivations, changes over time (poverty trends), and inequality using the global data. The sessions will also include work that applies the global MPI methodology, the Alkire-Foster method, to innovative measures.