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Ethiopia has experienced high rates of macroeconomic growth and reports a significant decline of people living in poverty. At the same time, inequality is increasing. In order to understand what is driving inequality, in particular in rural agricultural contexts, we use a mixed-methods approach rooted in knowledge coproduction. The results identify penultimate causes for reasons why individuals accumulate or lose assets and resources, as has been identified in other literature. A focus on the individual and penultimate causes, however, makes invisible the structures and systems that contribute to those occur-rences. We find that individual drivers of divergence (e.g., illness, debt, death) exist within systems and structures that marginalize some while providing opportunity for others. So-called “development” activities are part of these drivers, often negatively affecting the already marginalized and vulnerable. The findings suggest that individual- and community-level interventions will only enable a certain degree of change, unless and until the structural and systemic components of inequality and marginalization are transformed.