Inheritance, poverty, and disability

GROCE, Nora Ellen
LONDON, Jillian
STEIN, Michael Ashley

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14 pp

Inheritance is a significant means of transferring wealth from one generation to the next, and therefore increasingly attracts attention from researchers and pol- icy-makers working on intergenerational and multidimensional poverty. How- ever, until now disabled persons have been overlooked in these discussions. This oversight is particularly unfortunate because, as a group, the estimated one bil- lion people with disabilities (some 15% of the world’s population) are among the poorest and most marginalized of the global population. Over the past dec- ade, a small but growing literature has examined the recursive connections between poverty and disability throughout the developing world. In this paper, we argue that disabled individuals are routinely denied inheritance rights in many low-income and middle-income countries, and that this is a significant and largely unrecognized contributor to their indigence. The denial of inheritance is both a social justice issue and a practice that can no longer be overlooked if disabled persons are to be brought into the development mainstream.

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