Measuring Trends in Urban Inequality and Poverty in the Copperbelt, Zambia

Owen Crankshaw, Jacqueline Borel-Saladin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article is a discussion of how to measure urban inequality using the
results of large household samples. It has two aims. The first is to de-mystify the methods of measuring earnings inequality by discussing their logic and their results in plain language that is suitable for a non-specialist audience. The second is to persuade the reader that such surveys can be suitable for measuring income derived from all kinds of livelihood strategies, including informal sector activities. The results show persistently high levels of inequality over time among income earners on the Copperbelt. Disaggregation of the employed workforce by major occupational groups reveals increasingly more elementary and middle-income workers than higher income managers, professionals, and technicians. This pattern differs by gender, however, with only women experiencing a marked increase in low-skill, low-wage employment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-361
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number4
Early online date21 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Provisional acceptance date added to apply exception.


  • earnings inequality
  • poverty
  • Copperbelt
  • Zambia
  • informal sector
  • income gap
  • Lorentz curve
  • earnings polarisation
  • income share
  • gini coefficient
  • occupational polarisation


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