Regional inequalities are substantial in Tunisia. In the rural western regions, the poverty and unemployment rates are almost three times those of the more advantaged eastern regions. Several factors explain these disparities, in particular the spatial distribution of infrastructure and the level of education. Our hypothesis is that historical factors also matter, including historical heritage in terms of skills and know-how, which we call inherited human capital, and social capital. Our research shows that inherited human capital is one of the major explanatory factors of inequalities between regions in Tunisia. It is therefore essential that development policies take this into account and that an inventory and valuation of each region’s heritage be carried out.
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