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Global Development Institute

Prosperity, inequality and poverty

Growth, inequality and poverty

Our work on prosperity and human well-being explores the ways in which inclusive growth, social policies and political action can improve the prospects of poor and disadvantaged people.

Since the turn of the century, a majority of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean have managed to grow their economies, generating jobs and economic opportunity. Growth and redistribution have contributed to a large reduction in extreme poverty and, in some countries, inequality. Improving our understanding of the processes and institutions delivering, or constraining, inclusive growth is urgent as it is essential to building inclusive, fair, prosperous, and democratic societies.

Our research examines the interactions of growth, inequality and poverty. We critically engage with the global development agenda and conduct theoretical, empirical and policy-relevant research on inclusive growth, including urban poverty, social justice, social protection, and the links between environmental change and poverty.

Latest publications

Abdulai, A. G. and S. Hickey (2016). "The politics of development under competitive clientelism: Insights from Ghana's education sector." African Affairs 115(458): 44-72.
Agarwal, B. (2016). Gender Challenges. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Banks, N. (2016). "Livelihoods Limitations: The Political Economy of Urban Poverty in Dhaka, Bangladesh." Development and Change 47(2): 266-292.
Banks, N. (2016). "Youth poverty, employment and livelihoods: social and economic implications of living with insecurity in Arusha, Tanzania." Environment and Urbanization 28(2): 437-454.
Barrientos, A., & Kudebayeva, A. (2017). A decade of poverty reduction in Kazakhstan 2001-2009: growth and/or redistribution? Journal of International Development.
Barrientos, A. (2016). "Design and rural context in antipoverty transfers: Implications for programme outcomes." Global Food Security.
Barrientos, A. (2016). "Justice-based social assistance." Global Social Policy 16(2): 151-165.
Barrientos, A. (2016). "Social Assistance in Developing Countries: Growth, innovations and challenges." Social Security Research 23(1): 171-183.
Barrientos, A. and E. Amann (2016). "Is there a Brazilian Development Model? Main findings from a research programme." Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance(62): 7-11.
Barrientos, A. and J. M. Villa (2016). "Economic and Political Inclusion in Human Development Conditional Income Transfer Programmes in Latin America." Social Policy and Society 15(3): 421-433.
Barrientos, A., et al. (2016). "Antipoverty transfers and inclusive growth in Brazil." Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance(62): 33-40.
Barrientos, S., et al. (2016). "New dynamics of upgrading in global value chains: Shifting terrain for suppliers and workers in the global south." Environment and Planning A 48(7): 1214-1219.
Barrientos, S., et al. (2016). "Shifting regional dynamics of global value chains: Implications for economic and social upgrading in African horticulture." Environment and Planning A 48(7): 1266-1283
Dimova, R., et al. (2016). "Corruption and economic growth: An econometric survey of evidence." Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 172: 521-543.
Dimova, R. and A. Savoia (2016). "Institutions: Evolution, Path Dependency, Anachronisms and Impact." Journal of Development Studies 52(2): 161-165.
Hickey, S. and S. King (2016). "Understanding Social Accountability: Politics, Power and Building New Social Contracts." Journal of Development Studies 52(8): 1225-1240.
Hulme, D. (2016). Should Rich Nations Help the Poor? Cambridge/New York, Polity Press.
Kar, S. and Sen, K. (2016). The Political Economy of India's Growth Episodes. Palgrave. 
King, S. and S. Hickey (2016). "Building Democracy from Below: Lessons from Western Uganda." Journal of Development Studies: 1-16.
Kothari, U., & Arnall, A. (2017). Contestation over an island imaginary landscape: The management and maintenance of touristic nature. Environment and Planning A.
Lavers, T. (2017). Land Registration and Gender Equality in Ethiopia: How State–Society Relations Influence the Enforcement of Institutional Change. Journal of Agrarian Change, 17(1), 188-207. [17(1)]
Lavers, T. (2016). "Agricultural Investment in Ethiopia: Undermining National Sovereignty or Tool for State Building?" Development and Change 47(5): 1078-1101.
Lavers, T. and F. Boamah (2016). "The impact of agricultural investments on state capacity: A comparative analysis of Ethiopia and Ghana." Geoforum 72: 94-103.
Lavers, T. and S. Hickey (2016). "Conceptualising the politics of social protection expansion in low income countries: The intersection of transnational ideas and domestic politics." International Journal of Social Welfare.
Lawson, D. Ado-Kofie, L. and Hulme, D. (2017). What Works for Africa's Poorest?: Poverty Reduction Programmes for Extremely Poor People.Practical Action.
Savoia, A. and K. Sen (2016). "Do We See Convergence in Institutions? A Cross-Country Analysis." Journal of Development Studies 52(2): 166-185.
Sen, K. (2016). Out of the Shadows. OUP.
Roy, M. Cawood, S. Hordijk, M. Hulme, D. (2016). Urban Poverty and Climate Change: Life in the slums of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Routledge.
Roy, M. Hanlon, J. Hulme, D. (2016).  Bangladesh Confronts Climate Change: Keeping Our Heads above Water, Anthem Press.



Theme Convenors

Academic members

PhD Researcher Members

  • Olabimtan Adebowale
  • Peter Agamile
  • Ali Amin
  • Media Askar
  • Sally Cawood
  • Nahid Farnaz
  • Mohammed Ibrahim
  • Lina Khraise
  • Jiaying Li
  • Abiola Olatunji
  • Alejandra Ortiz Garcia
  • Kevwe Pela
  • Kate Pruce
  • Virgi Sari
  • Muhammad Shahadat Siddiquee
  • Amanda Telias Simunovic
  • Matthew Tyce
  • Vidhya Unnikrishnan
  • Matthew Walsham
  • Bala Yusuf
  • Gabriela Zapata Roman