Introduction: Developing Countries and Odious Inequality
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This is a book about the determinants and consequences of interpersonal economic inequality in low- and middle-income developing countries.1 Interpersonal economic inequality refers to the disproportional distribution of wealth and income between individuals/households in a national unit.2 ‘Wealth’, as John Stuart Mill suggested, names ‘all useful or agreeable things which possess exchangeable value’, including assets such as fixed and human capital.3 ‘Income’, in turn, can be seen as the flow of returns on the gainful use of the assets that constitute wealth. I treat the distribution of wealth and income as the core determinants of economic inequality, and use the terms ‘income/wealth inequality’, ‘economic inequality’, and ‘inequality’ interchangeably.4
KeywordsEconomic Inequality Sovereign Debt Social Spending United Nations Industrial Development Organization Informal Credit
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