An immediate Chinese challenge: further addressing vast income inequality

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

Conquering utopia anew – Income inequality in Sweden

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

Inequality in Denmark through the looking glass

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

Does growth lead to inequality? It depends.

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.

Structural reforms can be inclusive; it all depends on the details

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

Does decentralisation foster regional GDP convergence?

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?

Tackling the three main challenges in Costa Rica: fiscal reform, reverting the slowdown in productivity and reducing inequality

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

Policymakers: Act now to break out of the low-growth trap and deliver on our promises

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

Does monetary policy increase income and wealth inequality?

by Rory O’Farrell, Łukasz Rawdanowicz, and Kei-Ichiro Inaba,  Macroeconomic Policy Division, OECD Economics Department As asset prices have risen in recent years, so have concerns that monetary policy, and quantitative easing in particular, has increased inequality. Concern has moved from being the preserve of central bankers and the pages of the financial media to entering … More Does monetary policy increase income and wealth inequality?

Europe’s top 1%: Who they are and how you get in

by Oliver Denk, Economist, Policy Studies Extreme inequality at the top of the earnings scale has been high and rising in countries around the globe. But who are the select few with the highest labour incomes? And what determines who they are? That’s the theme of my new working paper on Europe’s 1%, which for … More Europe’s top 1%: Who they are and how you get in