African economies are at a pivotal juncture. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought economic activity to a standstill. Africa’s hard-won economic gains of the last two decades, critical in improving living standards, could be reversed. […]
November 28, 2018
Despite some progress, the gaps in labor force participation between men and women remain large. […]
August 22, 2018
Government policies have boosted women’s participation in the work force. But women still make up a smaller percentage of the labor force than men in most countries. Of the many policies available, such as education and legal rights, which ones provide the most “bang for the buck” to reduce inequality between men and women? […]
September 20, 2017
Economic growth provides the basis for overcoming poverty and lifting living standards. But for growth to be sustained and inclusive, its benefits must reach all people.
While strong economic growth is necessary for economic development, it is not always sufficient.
Over the past few decades, growth has raised living standards and provided job opportunities, lifting millions out of extreme poverty. But, we have also seen a flip side. Inequality has risen in several advanced economies and remains stubbornly high in many that are still developing. […]
May 11, 2017
Much has been written about the relationship between inequality and economic development, but theory remains inconclusive. When income is more concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, this can lead to less demand by the general population and lower investment in education and health, impairing long-term growth. At the same time, a certain level of inequality endows the rich with the means to start businesses, and creates incentives to increase productivity and investment, promoting economic activity. But the initial inequality levels also matter to explain why an increase in inequality varies in its impact on economic development across countries.
May 10, 2017
Trust in other people—the glue that holds society together—is increasingly in short supply in the United States and Europe, and inequality may be the culprit.
In surveys over the past 40 years, the share of Americans who say that most people can be trusted has fallen to 33 percent from about 50 percent. The erosion of trust coincides with widening disparities in incomes. […]
Tax officials and experts grappled with the issue of tax treaties several weeks ago at the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings. This arcane subject has now emerged as a new lightning rod in the debate on fairness in international taxation. As citizens demand that corporations pay their fair share of taxes and some governments struggle to raise enough revenues for basic services, tax treaties present difficult issues.