New article on international inequality and world poverty

What role does the international system play in producing poverty around the world? In an article in New Political Economy, DLP research fellow Niheer Dasandi draws on network analysis to examine this surprisingly neglected question.

Most analyses of poverty focus exclusively on countries' domestic characteristics in explaining its prevalence. Existing research has highlighted the important role played by domestic institutions, politics, and geography in perpetuating poverty.

But it has ignored the role played by global factors – such as international laws, trade and investment relations, and transnational corruption – in pushing people into poverty.

This omission is partly because empirical studies based on cross-country statistical analysis tend to treat countries as isolated units that have no effect on one another.

In this study, Niheer Dasandi considers the role of international inequality on poverty using a new structural measure of international inequality, created by applying network analysis to trade relations between countries. Network analysis is a methodological approach that focuses on relations between nations, and the structures created by these relations.

The results of this empirical analysis show that structural inequality in the international system has a significant impact on poverty (measured by infant mortality rates) around the world, when accounting for the effects of domestic factors on poverty.

The analysis highlights the need to move beyond focusing exclusively on the domestic attributes of developing countries towards considering the broader global political economy in understanding contemporary world poverty.

See this article's abstract:
Dasandi, N. (2014) International Inequality and World Poverty: A Quantitative Structural Analysis, New Political Economy, 19:2, 201-226

View a draft version in full on the author's academia.edu page.
 

Niheer Dasandi is a Research Fellow with DLP, based at University College London. His research focuses on politics and development, particularly on the links between inequality and poverty, the process of policy reform, and political-bureaucratic interactions.

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