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By Arjan de Haan

This booklet re-evaluates the significance of social guidelines in shaping health and struggling with exclusion, and complements figuring out of ways those rules are shaped in a globalizing global. It emphasises the context- and path-dependence of styles and rules of inclusion and exclusion, and offers a framework for helping social coverage making.

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Additional resources for Reclaiming Social Policy: Globalization, Social Exclusion and New Poverty Reduction Strategies

Sample text

Trends depend crucially on the concepts and units of analysis used. 4 According to the 2006 World Development Report (p. 62ff) too, inter-country inequality measured by the Gini coefficient has been increasing, especially since 1980. 5 The difference between the two trends is largely accounted for by the rapid progress in India and China (if India and China are excluded, the two trends are parallel). A large part of global inequality is due to differences between countries, and the progress in India and China has tempered the long-term trend significantly – without reducing the differences between the world’s poorest and richest countries or people.

Balioumune-Lutz and Lutz (2004) looked at rates of growth in rural and urban areas (rather than measures of income and poverty) in Africa and found that sectoral inequalities were on average increasing, but rural–urban disparities were decreasing, and similar issues and off-setting trends are relevant in China too. Across these countries, inequalities based on ethnic or racial differences are crucially important. In Latin America, on average, about 20 per cent of the population identify themselves as Afro-descendants, and 10 per cent as indigenous – of course this varies enormously across countries (World Bank, 2003: Chapter 3).

While there is firm cross-country evidence that the poor do, on average, benefit from economic growth, and that there may not be a systematic correlation between economic growth and inequality, focusing on existing and emerging disparities is important 40 Reclaiming Social Policy for at least four reasons. First, there are enough cases of increasing inequalities during the last two decades to make this a key concern. Second, the correlations are based on averages, which imply there may be – and in fact are – large number of cases of groups or regions that do fall behind.

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