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Type Working Paper - CRPD Working Paper No. 16
Title Seeing is not believing: Perceptions of horizontal inequalities in Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 1-29
An increasing amount of research has found evidence that the presence of objective horizontal inequalities increases the risk of violent conflict. Yet, people act and react on the basis of their perceptions of reality, which may differ considerably from a more objective assessment of this reality. So far, very little research has been done on the relationship between objective and subjective horizontal inequalities, which is the focus of this paper. An important finding of our empirical analysis of 19 African countries is that people’s perceptions of the prevailing economic inequalities can differ substantially from a more objective assessment of these inequalities. Overall, our analysis shows that the assumption that objective and subjective horizontal inequalities are largely the same, which is commonly
made in empirical studies focusing on the relationship between horizontal inequalities and violent conflict, needs to be revisited and challenged.

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