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Journal Articles

UNICEF Innocenti's complete catalogue of international peer reviewed journals

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Comparing inequality in adolescents’ reading achievement across 37 countries and over time: outcomes versus opportunities

Anna Gromada, Gwyther Rees, Yekaterina Chzhen

Published: 2019
This paper assesses two approaches to the measurement of educational inequality in international comparisons between countries and over time. We analyse reading literacy performance of 15-year-old students using data from PISA 2009 and 2015 for 37 EU and OECD countries. We show that inequality of outcome and inequality of opportunity do not necessarily co-vary; they can go in opposite directions both across countries and over time. Our results suggest that indicators of variation in educational outcomes are more suitable to the types of problems that affect international comparisons of educational achievement than the more common approach of measuring of inequality of opportunity.
International trends in ‘bottom-end’inequality in adolescent physical activity and nutrition: HBSC study 2002–2014

Yekaterina Chzhen, Irene Moor, William Pickett, Emilia Toczydlowska, Gonneke W J M Stevens

Published: 2018
In spite of many positive trends that have emerged in the health of young people, adolescents from more affluent groups continue to experience more favourable health outcomes. There are no groups that are more vulnerable than those who report very poor (‘bottom-end’) indicators of health behaviour. The present study investigated the role of socio-economic factors as potential determinants of bottom-end health behaviours pertaining to physical activity and diet.
Tackling Income Inequality: What Works and Why?

Jose Cuesta, Mario Negre, Ana Revenga, Maika Schmidt

Published: 2018
This article reviews the most recent and relevant evidence on key domestic policy interventions that are effective in reducing income inequality in developing countries, the benefits they generate, the choices that need to be made regarding their design and implementation, and the trade-offs that are associated with them. It focuses on a few policy areas in which there is a sufficient body of rigorous evidence to draw useful lessons with confidence: early childhood development, including breastfeeding; universal health care; good-quality education; conditional cash transfers; Investments in rural infrastructure; and taxation. The review concludes that there are many pathways to reducing inequality, from narrowing gaps in income generation opportunities to narrowing the potential for inequalities in human capital development before the inequalities emerge, smoothing consumption among the most deprived, and Redistribution in favor of the poor. Many interventions are simultaneously associated with equalizing outcomes, improved competition, and economic efficiency. Good interventions combining equality promotion and efficiency are possible in all settings and at different times; this includes interventions disproportionately benefiting the poorest in low-income countries during periods of crisis. Despite the significant increase in knowledge about equality interventions, the article makes a strong call for more microeconomic data and better—more precise—analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions
Poverty, Disputes and Access to Justice in Conflict Affected Areas of Indonesia

Jose Cuesta, E. Skoufias, L. Madrigal

Published: 2018
This analysis explores the determinants behind the unequal access to justice services among poor Indonesians. The study analyzes the stock of observed past disputes by socioeconomic group and the demand for conflict resolution services for unresolved conflicts or “trajectories.” It also models the hypothetical demand of justice services for future disputes. Results suggest that unequal access to justice might go beyond the financial costs of seeking justice and also depends on individual preferences and community infrastructure. These findings warn against focusing exclusively on formal justice costs to improve the equal access of the poor to conflict resolution services.
Cite this publication | No. of pages: 21-38 | Tags: justice, poverty, inequality
Equity and Achievement in Access to Contraceptives in East Africa between 2000 and 2010

C. M. Shah, A. M. Griffith, J. Ciera, E. M. Zulu, Tia Palermo

Published: 2016


To examine trends in equity in contraceptive use, and in contraceptive-prevalence rates in six East African countries.


In this repeated cross-sectional study, Demographic and Health Surveys Program data from women aged 15–49 years in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda between 2000 and 2010 were analyzed. Individuals were ranked according to wealth quintile, stratified urban/rural populations, and calculated concentration index–a statistic integrating information from all wealth quintiles to analyze disparities.


Equity and contraceptive-prevalence rates increased in most country regions over the study period. Notably, in rural Rwanda, contraceptive-prevalence rates increased from 3.9 to 44.0, and urban Kenya became the most equitable country region, with a concentration index of 0.02. The Pearson correlation coefficient between improvements in concentration index and contraceptive-prevalence rates was 0.52 (P = 0.011).


The results indicate that countries seeking to increase contraceptive use should prioritize equity in access to services and contraceptives.

Cite this publication | No. of pages: 53-58 | Tags: contraceptives, inequality
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