‘When you think your neighbour's cooking pot is better than yours’: A mixed-methods exploration of inequality and wellbeing in Ghana
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Existing evidence suggests that rising inequality is detrimental to population wellbeing. However, the mediums through which inequality affects wellbeing in the context of low to middle-income countries (LMICs), where absolute and relative deprivation are extreme, remain unknown. As part of a larger research program that aims to develop a Global Index of Wellbeing (GLOWING), this paper explores the linkages between inequality and wellbeing in Ghana. We used key constructs from the capability and ecosocial theoretical frameworks, and a parallel mixed-methods approach. Through path analysis, we examined the pathways between different measures of inequality and wellbeing. Further, qualitative interviews were used to explore perceptions of inequality and links with wellbeing; this provided context and depth to our quantitative results. Results show that inequalities may affect wellbeing by constraining access to basic amenities like water, food, and housing and also through community social capital and cohesion. The implications of the results for policy and practice, specifically to ensuring shared prosperity, are discussed.
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