Indicators of rural inequality

Alfonso Peter Castro, N. Thomas Hakansson, David Brokensha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


There are gradations of poverty even in the poorest societies. This essay explores indicators that measure wealth differences between households in the same community. Ethnographic and other literature has been surveyed, to provide examples from major Third World areas. The most important single indicator is control of land, followed by other productive resources - capital equipment (tractors, ploughs), consumer durables, income (farm and non-farm) and livestock. Non-productive indicators include housing, consumer goods, fuel, ceremonial expenditure and diet. Methodological problems are examined, and the essay concludes with representative case studies that illustrate effective and specific use of indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-427
Number of pages27
JournalWorld Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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