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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Getting carbon inequality onto the political agenda: the lessons of Brexit

Duncan Green - July 29, 2016

Guest post from Dario Kenner who describes himself as ‘an independent researcher currently exploring the links between policies to reduce inequality and ecological footprints’ In a fascinating post-Brexit blog George Marshall makes comparisons between the Remain campaign and how to/how not to successfully communicate on climate change issues. He says while the Leave campaign had a compelling storyline based on Let’s Take Back Control the …

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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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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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Book Review: Rich People, Poor Countries – the evolution of the South’s plutocrats

Duncan Green - May 3, 2016

Another addition to the inequality library. Rich People, Poor Countries has a less ambitious sweep than Piketty, Deaton or Milanovic’s grand narratives. Author Caroline Freund does some very revealing number crunching on the changing face of the annual Forbes billionaires list to explore ‘the rise of emerging-market tycoons and their mega firms’, in the words of the book’s subtitle. Unfortunately she laces her findings with …

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The income of the world’s poor is going up, but they’re $1 trillion poorer. What’s going on?

Duncan Green - April 28, 2016

Oxfam number cruncher Deborah Hardoon tries to get her head round something weird – according to the stats, the poorest half of the people are getting poorer even though their incomes are rising. It has become something of a tradition that in January every year we take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires and the Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook and calculate how …

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Civil society must change itself before it can change the world

Duncan Green - April 26, 2016

  Danny Sriskandarajah, Secretary General of the Civicus global civil society network, has some heretical thoughts about CSOs putting their own house in order This week, more than 900 activists from more than 100 countries are meeting in Bogotá, Colombia for International Civil Society Week. We will come together at what feels like a momentous and difficult time for civil society. My colleagues have documented …

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