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— Remoteness and Disadvantage


Interpersonal inequality has been rising in a swathe of developing countries alongside globalization-driven economic growth. Simultaneously, spatial inequalities have also become wider. Particularly in countries where a large share of the population lives within agrarian contexts, a new form of urban bias has come into being. Cities and rural habitations located close to urban areas have benefited far more than rural areas that are further away from cities. A concentric pattern is becoming entrenched with people who live in or close to cities experiencing superior outcomes in multiple realms, gaining disproportionately not just in terms of incomes and assets, but also in relation to health, education, and governance outcomes.

The papers presented here examine diverse nationally-representative data sets for India, a country in which close to 70 percent of the population still lives in rural areas. People who live more than 5 kilometers from the nearest urban center have experienced reductions in average inflation-adjusted incomes during the years of high-speed national economic growth. At the same times, capabilities of various kinds have also fallen further behind.


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