The Paradox of the Isolated Poor An Empirical View on the Political Economy of Capital City Isolation in Sub-Saharan Africa

Lead Research Organisation: London School of Economics & Pol Sci
Department Name: Geography and Environment


The alarmingly high level of income inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa and its adverse implications for economic development have moved into the focus of economic research on the continent in recent years (International Monetary Fund, 2015; UNDP, 2017). Unfortunately, a lot of the studies investigating inequality on the continent have mainly focused on describing symptoms such as the "high concentration of physical capital, human capital and land (...) in certain groups or regions" (UNDP, 2017: ii) rather than examining their underlying mechanisms. Further, as of today, only a limited number of scholars (see for example Hodler and Raschky (2014) or Addison et al. (2017)) have examined spatial patterns and causes of economic inequality. Yet, most of the articles focus on the `urban-rural bias', are limited to South Africa and overlook other major drivers of spatial inequality (see for example Lehohla and Shabalala (2014)). In this study, I put forward proximity to the capital city as a new dimension of economic inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa and investigate its economic, social and political channels.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000622/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2098312 Studentship ES/P000622/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2021 Sandro Provenzano