Globalisation, Poverty and Inequality in Zambia During THE 1990s

Since the election of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) government in 1991, the Zambian authorities have implemented sweeping economic reforms. In addition to undertaking a sharp stabilisation programme early in the decade, the government have implemented reforms in agricultural marketing, a large privatisation programme, sweeping trade policy reforms and, more recently, public sector reform. The implementation of stabilisation and structural reforms in any country can have a major impact upon poverty and inequality. In order to obtain an accurate view of these effects, it is necessary to have nationally representative household survey data from both before and after the reform episode. Fortunately, there were four such surveys in Zambia during the 1990s ñ the first in 1991 coincided with the election of the new government, and further surveys were conducted in 1993, 1996 and 1998. This paper reanalyses the household survey data from three of these surveys in order to chart the evolution of poverty and inequality during the 1990s. In addition, the economic policies pursued during the 1990s are described in detail, enabling linkages to be drawn between the policies implemented and the observed changes in poverty and inequality.