Abstract | In the last decades regional disparities have increased tremendously in Myanmar. We investigate the extent of regional divergence using satellite data on night-time luminosity for Myanmar states and regions and cross-validate this data with available information on the micro-level. We find that regional inequality is actually bad news for all regions involved, not only those left behind: Whereas tensions and grievances in the periphery rise, the dramatic actual and projected internal migration and urbanization problems also pose serious problems for the center. Combining quantitative and qualitative evidence, we investigate the major domestic and international sources of this rising inequality: regional conflicts, foreign aid and foreign direct investments.
Bio | Achim Kemmerling is Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and the Department of International Relations, Central European University Budapest. There he teaches courses on methodology, political economy and development. He has published in academic journals of various disciplines (e.g. World Development, Journal of Common Market Studies, Public Choice) on issues of tax policy, social and labor market policies, and fiscal federalism. His monograph "Taxing the Working Poor" (Edward Elgar 2009) deals with the political and economic tradeoffs between redistribution and job incentives for poor workers. He has worked as a consultant to the German parliament, the German Society for Technical Cooperation (former GTZ, now GIZ), the Open Society Foundation and the European Investment Bank. Currently, he is writing on a book about the notion of human progress.