Addressing Inequality in South Asia

Inequality in South Asia appears to be moderate when looking at standard indicators such as the Gini index, which are based on consumption expenditures per capita. But other pieces of evidence reveal enormous gaps, from extravagant wealth at one end to lack of access to the most basic services at the other. Which prompts the question: How bad is inequality in South Asia? And why would that matter? This book takes a comprehensive look at the extent, nature, and drivers of inequality in this very dynamic region of the world. It discusses how some dimensions of inequality, such as high returns to investments in human capital, contribute to economic growth while others, such as high payoffs to rent-seeking or broken aspirations, undermine it. Drawing upon a variety of data sources, it disentangles the contribution that opportunity in young age, mobility in adult years, and support throughout life make to inequality at any point in time.