The Politics of Measuring Inequality: What gets left out and why?

Duncan Green - October 25, 2016

Two posts on the measurement of inequality this week, so you’ll need to activate the brain cells. First up Oxfam researcher Franziska Mager summarizes a paper co-authored with Deborah Hardoon for a panel at the recent Development Studies Association conference on the power and politics behind the statistics. A version of this post appeared on Oxfam’s shiny new real geek blog. Inequality is a touchy …

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Talk is cheap, but will the World Bank really step up on inequality?

Duncan Green - October 4, 2016

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Development Finance and Public Services raises the curtain this week’s World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings before hopping on the plane to Washington I have been going to the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF longer than I care to remember, certainly since most Oxfam policy wonks were still at school. Every time I go to the office …

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Why the World Bank needs to ask Jim Kim some tough questions in his Job Interview

Duncan Green - September 22, 2016

Guest post from Nadia Daar, head of Oxfam’s Washington DC office Preparing for an interview is often traumatic – by this point I’ve done a few and believe me, Oxfam doesn’t make things easy! And I’ve heard the World Bank doesn’t either. Yet for the position of president, there is a widespread feeling that Jim Kim’s upcoming interview with the Board of Directors this week …

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What does ‘How Change Happens’ thinking tell us about Brexit?

Duncan Green - June 28, 2016

I was in Lisbon running a ‘How Change Happens’ summer school when the Brexit news came in, so I thought I’d apply an HCH analysis to a seismic event. I’m not an expert on UK politics, so this is bound to be pretty uninformed compared to the avalanche of post mortems in the press, but let’s see where it goes. First up a disclaimer. As Timothy …

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What’s happening to inequality in China? Update from a visit to Beijing

Duncan Green - June 7, 2016

Spent a fascinating few days in Beijing last week, at the invitation of Oxfam Hong Kong. The main topic was inequality, including a big seminar with lots of academics (NGOs are very research-based in China – it was a graphtastic, PhD-rich week). Here are some of the headlines: Income Inequality in China is changing fast. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the Gini index …

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First inequality, now neoliberalism: how many statues are left to kick over outside the IMF?

Duncan Green - June 6, 2016

Max Lawson, now Oxfam International’s policy guy on inequality, shares his newfound love for an old foe Last week the IMF published an article in its magazine that caused a considerable stir around the world.  Entitled ‘Neoliberalism: oversold?’ the short piece by Jonathan D. Ostry, Prakash Loungani, and Davide Furceri, all from the Fund’s Research Department, questions whether the economic approach of neoliberalism has been taken …

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Thomas Piketty on inequality in developing countries (great, but still not enough on politics)

Duncan Green - May 31, 2016

I heard econ rock star Thomas Piketty speak for the first time last week – hugely enjoyable. The occasion was the annual conference of the LSE’s new International Inequalities Institute, with Piketty headlining. He was brilliant: original and funny, riffing off traditional France v Britain tensions, and reeling off memorable one liners: ‘meritocracy is a myth invented by winners’; ‘It’s difficult to be an honest …

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Bridging the gender data gap – Oxfam is looking for a researcher. Interested?

Duncan Green - May 27, 2016

Oxfam’s research team is looking for a gender justice researcher. Closing date is Monday (30th May), so despite having only one typing hand (bike accident, not nice), Deborah Hardoon explains why you should apply In 1990 Amartya Sen wrote an editorial for the NY Times review of books that highlighted a numerical discrepancy with profound implications. He looked at data on birth rates – all …

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The Global Beneficial Ownership Register: a new approach to fighting corruption by combining political advocacy with technology

Duncan Green - May 11, 2016

A second post on corruption ahead of tomorrow’s summit. Activists are often more concerned with how they see the world than with understanding how others see it, but understanding what motivates and incentivises others is crucial to building coalitions for change. Transparency campaigner David McNair describes one such example, a wonky-but-important demand for a Global Beneficial Ownership Register to curb tax evasion. After more than …

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Book Review: The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion

Duncan Green - May 5, 2016

Oxfam inequality number cruncher Deborah Hardoon reviews The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion.  It’s hard to think of a better placed individual than Martin Ravallion to have written this book. Not only has he spent over 30 years working on poverty, including 24 years at the World Bank, but in 1990 it was Martin Ravallion who, during dinner with his wife had an ‘epiphany …

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