Emerging Patterns of Income Distribution and Social Exclusion in Sri Lanka

By Liyanage, Uditha | South Asian Journal of Management, July-September 2004 | Go to article overview

Emerging Patterns of Income Distribution and Social Exclusion in Sri Lanka


Liyanage, Uditha, South Asian Journal of Management


The paper examines the evidence for Sri Lanka's economic growth in many sectors, over the past two decades, notwithstanding the setbacks witnessed during the period. This economic growth is, by and large confined to the urban sector, and within it, the western province. In the rural sector, poverty, accompanied by the alienation of the educated rural youth from the economic mainstream, the expanding private sector, presents the "flip side" of the economy. These trends are reflected socially in the emergence of a new urban middle class, which champions a consumerist ideology and a western ethos. The rest of the country, though influenced by the ideology, is unable to embrace it, given the lack of resources and access to the domain of the NUMC. The paper also argues that the formal private sector has, in the main, failed to go beyond its narrow urban focus and bias which has alienated the educated rural youth from the economic mainstream. Their social alienation or exclusion is likely to have far-reaching implications.

1. INTRODUCTION

Sri Lanka's relatively early liberalization of its economy in the late 1970s and its sustained attempts to empower the private sector to spearhead the country's economic growth, have, inter alia resulted in the increasing polarization of the socially and economically advantaged, and the disadvantaged groups, accompanied by far-reaching social implications.

The economic disparity between urban and rural segments of society has been exacerbated as a result of the enlargement of the private sector at the expense of the public/state sector. The formal private sector is largely located in urban areas. The urban-rural disparity spells deep-rooted social implications. The need for the establishment of social safety nets and social policy frameworks, in order to prop up the alienated rural poor in particular, is of growing importance to the country's social policy developers.

2. INCOME DISPARITY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

The concept of inequality reflected in the distribution of income, finds expression among others, in cross-country inequality which refers to the inequality of average incomes. Average incomes of the advanced nations have continued to rise, while average income at the other end of the income distribution, particularly in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, have stagnated or fallen (Loungani, P, 2003). This, however, does not mean that inequality of incomes within countries has necessarily increased. Gini Coefficients in Japan, many European countries, and Canada have been stable over the past couple of decades, ranging between 0.25 and 0.3. In the continent, in other developed countries, the United States being the most notable example, the Gini Coefficient has increased to about 0.4 over the past 20 years. Importantly, emerging markets and developing countries defy easy characterization. Some like Korea, which has Gini Coefficient of 0.3, has experienced impressive growth without improvements to their already low inequality. Others like Brazil, which has a Gini of 0.6 have experienced slow growth and have not made a dent in the already high level of income inequality (Loungani P, 2003).

The nexus between average income and equality of income distribution is viewed by Saunders, (1990) and Hedey et al; (1999) in terms of the mechanisms that produce inequalities. They argue that inequality per se is not necessarily unjust or unfair. Some people work harder; educate themselves and take better use of their resources etc. Therefore, it is justifiable that some people deserve more than others do. Rawls. J (1972, 1995) in his seminal work on distributive justice is nowhere near enthusiastic a proponent of greater equality as Scandinavian public opinion is. Graubard (1986) reports the Scandinavian's passion for equality. According to Rawls's concepts of justice, inequality under certain conditions is acceptable if inequality is based on factors that do not differentiate between people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Emerging Patterns of Income Distribution and Social Exclusion in Sri Lanka
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.