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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, INEQUALITY, AND HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCIES



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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INEQUALITY AND HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCIES E Wayne Nafziger and Juha Auvinen1 Abstract This paper focuses on a political economy of humanitarian emergencies comprising a human made crisis in which large numbers of people die from war and state violence The article analyzes how economic decline income inequality pervasive rent seeking by ruling elites a reduced surplus to threaten the survival income of a large portion of the population a weakening state and competition for control of mineral exports contribute to emergencies Economic regress and political decay bring about relative deprivation or perception by influential social groups of injustice arising from a growing discrepancy between what they expect and get 1 EWN Kansas State University nafwayne ksu edu http www ksu edu economics nafwayne and JA University of Helsinki juha yrjo auvinen cec eu int October 2001 We thank WIDER Finland s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the helpful comments of WIDER project colleagues but we are solely responsible for errors 1 INTRODUCTION Economic stagnation political decay and deadly political violence interact in several ways economic and political factors contribute to war while war has an adverse effect on economic growth and political development This paper focuses on how the political economy affects humanitarian emergencies comprising a human made crisis in which large numbers of people die and suffer from war state violence and refugee displacement V yrynen 2000a Auvinen and Nafziger 1999 analyze econometrically the relationship between humanitarian emergencies 2 and their hypothesized sources in less developed countries LDCs Their analysis indicates that stagnation and decline in real GDP high income inequality a high ratio of military expenditures to national income and a tradition of violent conflict are sources of emergencies The study also finds that countries that failed to adjust to



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