International inequality and world poverty: a quantitative structural analysis

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Dominant explanations within the existing development literature for the differences in poverty levels around the world have tended to ignore the influence of international inequality on poverty, instead focusing solely on domestic factors. In this paper, I conduct a regression analysis of the effect of inequality between countries on world poverty between 1980 and 2007, employing a new structural measure of international inequality which is created using social network analysis to calculate countries’ positions in international trade networks. Countries’ infant mortality rates are used to measure poverty. The results of the empirical analysis provide cross-country evidence to demonstrate that structural inequalities in the international system have a significant impact on poverty around the world. As such, the analysis demonstrates the need to move beyond focusing exclusively on domestic attributes of developing countries towards considering the broader international political economy in analysing contemporary poverty.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-226
Number of pages26
JournalNew Political Economy
Issue number2
Early online date1 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2014


  • Poverty
  • International inequality
  • Underdevelopment
  • Trade
  • Social Network analysis


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