inequality

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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Book Review: Branko Milanovic’s brilliant take on Global Inequality

Duncan Green - April 15, 2016

Some of my favourite development economists are nomads, people with feet in different regions, which seems to make them better able to identify interesting patterns and similarities/differences between countries. Ha-Joon Chang (Korea/UK), Dani Rodrik (Turkey/US) and now Branko Milanovic (Serbia/US), whose latest book Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization is a brilliant and thought-provoking essay stuffed with enough graphs to satisfy …

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Tackling Inequality is a game changer for business and private sector development (which is why most of them are ignoring it)

Duncan Green - March 31, 2016

Oxfam’s private sector adviser Erinch Sahan is thinking through the implications of inequality for the businesses he interacts with Mention inequality to a business audience and one of two things happens. They recoil in discomfort, or reinterpret the term – as social sustainability or doing more business with people living in poverty. Same goes for the private sector development professionals in the aid community (e.g. …

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Why we need to rethink how we measure inequality – please welcome the Absolute Palma index

Duncan Green - March 11, 2016

Oxfam’s Nick Galasso (left) and ODI’s Chris Hoy (right), author of a new paper on the topic, argue for a rethink on inequality metrics The world is abuzz about inequality Pope Francis famously tweeted that inequality is the root of evil. As we witnessed in Davos in January, the media can’t get enough of Oxfam’s statistic that the richest 85, 80, 62 people have the same wealth …

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From Sweatshops to Switzerland, the women in Myanmar behind the billionaires’ fortunes

Duncan Green - March 4, 2016

Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Global Campaigns reflects on a recent visit The young garment factory workers share a tiny room in a wooden shack, spotlessly clean, with pictures of Myanmar pop stars beside a photo of their parents back in the village. But there is no escaping the smell of the open drain outside. The three sisters and their cousin all work in factories …

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Why being scooped by Piketty is no bad thing for Oxfam (but what will the government of India think?)

Duncan Green - November 13, 2015

Guest post from Tim Gore, Oxfam’s climate change policy czar  No-one likes to be scooped, least of all researchers who have battled through Oxfam’s internal sign-off process. But when the authors who beat you to the publication punch include one of the most famous economists in the world – as we experienced last week – we can at least be reassured that our analysis is …

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Great new IMF paper puts women’s rights at the heart of tackling income inequality

Duncan Green - November 10, 2015

The IMF continues to surprise an old lag like me who cut his policy teeth condemning it as the incarnation of extreme market idolatry and anti-poor structural adjustment programmes in the 80s and 90s. Read its new ‘staff discussion note’, Catalyst for Change: Empowering Women and Tackling Income Inequality to see why. The authors point out that ‘Income inequality and gender-related inequality can interact through …

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