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Inside Inequality in Egypt: Facts and Perceptions- Book Launch
May 5, 2014Cairo


One of the puzzling aspects about inequality in Egypt is that the measurement of monetary inequality by means of household surveys does not seem to match perceptions. The book aims at elucidating this puzzle and providing a better understanding of income inequality in Egypt in its various dimensions.

On May 5th, 2014, the World Bank launches its new book “Inside Inequality in the Arab Republic of Egypt: Facts and Perceptions across People, Time and Space” in Cairo, Egypt. The event is hosted by Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS), Cairo University. 

The book provides a comprehensive review of the literature on inequality in Egypt over the last 50 years. It places Egypt’s inequality in a global context, with a particular focus on spatial inequality. It offers interesting insights into the gap between facts and perceptions of inequality during the period 2000–2009. And it offers a detailed analysis of the drivers of inequality in some of the poorest villages in Egypt.

The value of the book lies both in its novelty as well as its relevance to policy making in Egypt. It answers the questions; what was really going on with the distribution of income in Egypt? Was the household survey data wrong? Did other factors account for a rising perception of inequality? How were prosperity—and its growth—shared across the country’s disparate regions? How were people in Egypt’s poorest villages affected by these dynamics?

“Since 2011, the World Bank has been undertaking a number of studies on inequality in Egypt that looked into the economic geography of inequality, inequality of opportunities, and facts and perceptions of inequality. The World Bank has launched a number of support programs that focus on aspects closely related to inequality including poverty, exclusion from the job market, and exclusion from social services.” Said Hartwig Schafer World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti

  • Paolo Verme, MENA Senior Poverty Specialist

    A Ph. D. graduate of the London School of Economics, he was Visiting Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University in Milan (2004-2009) and contract Professor of Political Economy at the University of Turin (2003-2010) prior to joining the World Bank in 2010. He initiated his career working as a volunteer for an NGO in Africa and between 1995 and 2010 served as an adviser to ministries, multilateral, bilateral, private and non-governmental organizations on the design, implementation and evaluation of labor market and social protection policies. His research covers labor markets, income distribution and the evaluation of welfare reforms and is published in international journals, books and reports.
One of the puzzling aspects about inequality in Egypt is that the measurement of monetary inequality by means of household surveys does not seem to match perceptions. The book aims at elucidating this puzzle and providing a better understanding of income inequality in Egypt in its various dimensions.