Topic: Inequality

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

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. […]

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

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, […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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Book Review: The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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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)

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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. […]

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