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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - CRPD Working Paper
Title Seeing is not believing: perceptions of horizontal inequalities in Africa
Issue 16
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
URL https://soc.kuleuven.be/crpd/files/working-papers/wp16.pdf
An increasing amount of research has found evidence that the presence of objective
horizontal inequalities increases the risk of violent conflict. Yet, people act and react on the
basis of their perceptions of reality, which may differ considerably from a more objective
assessment of this reality. So far, very little research has been done on the relationship
between objective and subjective horizontal inequalities, which is the focus of this paper. An
important finding of our empirical analysis of 19 African countries is that people’s perceptions
of the prevailing economic inequalities can differ substantially from a more objective
assessment of these inequalities. Overall, our analysis shows that the assumption that
objective and subjective horizontal inequalities are largely the same, which is commonly
made in empirical studies focusing on the relationship between horizontal inequalities and
violent conflict, needs to be revisited and challenged.

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