A Dangerous Divide: The state of inequality in Malawi | Economic Inequality

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Malawi has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years, but the gains of this growth have not been spread evenly and the gap between rich and poor has widened at an alarming pace. Today, half of all Malawians live in poverty. This report examines the sharp rise in inequality in Malawi between 2004/5 and 2010/11, and models the link between poverty, inequality and growth from 2015 to 2020. It analyses inequality in Malawi across a number of dimensions, including education, health, wealth and income/consumption, and also looks at how inequality is reinforced by corruption, gender inequity and an unequal distribution of political power. The authors warn that unless the government takes action, many more Malawians will live in poverty by 2020.
  A Dangerous Divide The State of Inequality in Malawi  Front cover pictures:Left: Kakunde under five clinic. The public clinic is 15 km away from Nthalire Health Centre and helps surrounding villages access much-needed children’s health services. Roads to this health facility are impassable in rainy season. Photo: Daud Kayisi/Oxfam Right: Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre offers high quality healthcare. The majority of poor Malawians cannot afford the services offered here due to the fees charged. Photo: Mwaiwathu website.  Contents Introduction 5Economic Inequality 9Wealth Inequality 10Education Inequality 11Health Inequality 13Poverty-inequality-consumption-growth relationship 14Drivers of Inequality 15Political Inequality 18Conclusion 20Bibliography 21Endnotes 22 03 CONTENTS  About the study This study was premised on the understanding that inequality is multifaceted; it can manifest itself in many forms including income/consumption, wealth, health and education, as well as political, cultural, gender, geographic and environmental. Consequently, the study looked at inequalities across a range of dimensions including consumption, education, health and wealth. The study analyses the changes in various types of inequality between 2004/5 and 2010/11 using results of two nationally representative household surveys. Levels and trends in political inequality in Malawi were also studied. Authors Richard Mussa is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at Chancellor College, University of Malawi. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cape Town. He has undertaken research on the Malawian economy with a particular focus on: poverty and inequality; nutrition; technical efficiency of agricultural production; nonlinear pricing in food markets; equity of healthcare finance; and youth unemployment and child labour. He is a prolific scientific writer and has published scholarly articles in various international journals. He has consulted for local and international organizations including the following: the World Bank, UNDP, ILO, FAO, UNFPA, IFPRI, USAID, Oxfam and SADC. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of Malawi. Winford Henderson Masanjala  holds an MSc [1999] and PhD [2003] in Economics from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA, a Postgraduate Diploma in Population and Development Studies [1995] from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, and a BSoc.Sc Degree [1991] from the University of Malawi. Winford is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Malawi. His research and consulting experience spans macroeconomics, monetary, population and health economics, and economics of energy and infrastructural development. Between 2010 and 2014, he was seconded to the Malawi government, initially as Director of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance (2010-12) and subsequently as Secretary for Energy (and Mining) (2012-14). He has consulted for local and international organizations including ILO, UNAIDS, UNICEF and AU/UNECA. He has experience managing donor-funded projects including those funded by the World Bank, DFID, the US government, the EU and UNDP.Production of the report was managed by Lusungu Dzinkambani and Daud Kayisi. The text was edited by Max Lawson, Jessica Hamer and Daria Ukhova. The report was designed by Nigel Wilmott: info@briodesign.co.uk. 04 ABOUT THIS STUDY A Dangerous Divide The State of Inequality in Malawi
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