By Mabel Gabriel and Alberto Gonzalez Pandiella, OECD Economics Department Despite strong economic growth, Costa Rica’s income inequality has increased in the past decade, in stark contrast with other Latin American countries (OECD, 2016 and González Pandiella and Gabriel, 2017). What explains this? A decomposition of income inequality by income sources reveals, surprisingly, that public … More Does everybody enjoy Pura Vida? Decomposing income inequality in Costa Rica
by Jon Pareliussen, Sweden Desk, OECD Economics Department Income equality is perceived by many as steadily embedded in Swedish society, as solid as a Volvo’s tyres firmly clinging to a narrow country road on a Småland’s bright midsummer night. However, the Gini coefficient has increased more in Sweden than in any other OECD country since the 1990s. But … More Structural Inequality – The Case of Sweden
by Ben Westmore, China Desk, OECD Economics Department The goal of the Chinese government to achieve a “moderately prosperous society in all respects” by 2020 is centred around improving social welfare throughout the population. One of the essential ingredients to doing this is a further reduction in economic inequality. As underlined in the OECD 2017 … More An immediate Chinese challenge: further addressing vast income inequality
by Jon Pareliussen, Swedish Desk, Country Studies Branch, OECD Economics Department “Equality is a utopia (…) that must be constantly redefined and constantly conquered anew.” -Olof Palme, 30 July 1965. Equality, a long-standing hallmark of Swedish society, carries multiple benefits in terms of economic performance, trust, opportunity and well-being. Income inequality is relatively low in … More Conquering utopia anew – Income inequality in Sweden
By Mikkel Hermansen, Structural Surveillance Division, OECD Economics Department Although Denmark is one of the least unequal countries in the world, it has like many other OECD countries experienced a rise in income inequality. But by exactly how much has the Gini coefficient risen over the last decades? There is significant disagreement between various official … More Inequality in Denmark through the looking glass
By Orsetta Causa, Mikkel Hermansen and Nicolas Ruiz, Structural Surveillance Division, OECD Economics Department Widespread increases in inequality over the past three decades have raised the question of whether growth in itself is a driver of income inequality. Considering that correlation often tells little about causation, this question is less trivial than may appear at … More Does growth lead to inequality? It depends.
By Orsetta Causa, Mikkel Hermansen and Nicolas Ruiz, Structural Surveillance Division, OECD Economics Department Structural reforms are regularly assessed based on their ability to boost GDP per capita. This emphasis relies on the assumption that higher GDP per capita is systematically associated with rising living standards for the vast majority of citizens. This view is … More Structural reforms can be inclusive; it all depends on the details
by Hansjörg Blöchliger, Senior Economist, Policy Studies Branch, Economics Department The growth pattern of OECD countries and their sub-national entities is puzzling. Between-country differences in GDP per capita are declining, yet the differences across jurisdictions within those countries tend to rise. Put in other words, countries’ GDP converges, while the output of their sub-national jurisdictions … More Does decentralisation foster regional GDP convergence?
By Paula Garda and Mauro Pisu, Country Studies Branch, OECD Economics Department Costa Rica’s economic, social and environmental achievements are impressive. It has succeeded in combining rising living standards, virtually universal health care, pension and primary education systems with sustainable use of natural resources. Incomes per capita have nearly doubled in real terms over the … More Tackling the three main challenges in Costa Rica: fiscal reform, reverting the slowdown in productivity and reducing inequality
By Catherine L. Mann, OECD Chief Economist Policymaking is at an important juncture. Without comprehensive, coherent and collective action, disappointing and sluggish growth will persist, making it increasingly difficult to make good on promises to current and future generations. Global growth has languished over the past eight years as OECD economies have struggled to average … More Policymakers: Act now to break out of the low-growth trap and deliver on our promises