ECONOMIC inequalities within countries have increased significantly in most states that have seen decent growth over the last few decades. But this is usually seen by policymakers as an unavoidable by-product of the growth process.
As the economy grows, the fruits of growth accumulate in certain sectors and among certain classes of people. It is only if and when the growth process becomes more entrenched and is sustained for a longer period that other groups get a chance to ‘catch up’. When this happens the benefits of growth are more widely shared.
The problem with this is, and we have had empirical confirmation, that the imbalance can continue for fairly long periods, and more importantly, imbalanced growth carries within it the seeds of discord that can cause the growth process, for political and economic reasons, to be disrupted.
Some of the political fallout of the high-growth…
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