University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law

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The monstrous pendulum of inequality in the twenty-first century swings sideways amid welfare economics and egalitarianism. Horizontal inequalities embodied by pro-poor policy on grounds such as gender, race, and disability, have long been core international human rights concerns. Yet, gross inequalities in economic status, nationally and globally, are still poorly conceptualized by legal scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.

In search of a policy lever, this article argues that as far as economic theory goes, neither theoretical nor empirical economic research adequately correlates economic inequalities and growth. That is, beyond horizontal inequalities concerning the extreme poor. As economic research remains inept in offering efficiency policy justifications, international human rights law (IHRL), as the primary legal alternative for poverty-related social justice, could fill the gap.

In the backdrop of neoliberal welfare economic policy confines, vertical inequalities between societal groups and global inequalities between countries substantively add to a novel realization of human rights and the achievement of UN-led sustainable development