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Growing Inequality: What Can We Do?

Michel Camdessus

Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies, 2018, vol. 10, issue 1-3, 5-10

Abstract: Growing inequality in the world is disturbing. For example, on average, the top 10 percent of the households hold 50 percent of total wealth. Inequality is even higher in emerging and developing countries. Rising inequality in disposable income has adverse consequences on growth over the medium term and leads to growing frustrations and potentially social turmoil. It adversely affects people’s living conditions, societal cohesion, and social mobility. Governments need to tackle rising inequality urgently and create opportunities and advancement for all. They need to invest in human capital and provide the poor with better health services and stronger education. Means-tested transfers focused on young children have often achieved more equitable health and education outcomes. These efforts require increased fiscal space. Increased progressivity in taxation would (within reason) also help reduce inequality. Additionally, a global initiative on inequality, in which countries would commit to implement their own-designed measures to increase the income of the poorest 40 percent faster than the national median, is proposed. Countries would support each other by sharing experiences, while multilateral organizations would help them design their policies. Two global conferences, in 2023 and in 2028, would examine progress and identify the most effective policies.

Keywords: Inequality; income distribution; social spending; taxation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1177/0974910119851600

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