Window for Change

2020-12-01T12:23:40-05:00December 1, 2020|

By Gita Bhatt

There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks where decades happen. This saying could not be more apt today. The pandemic—which has disrupted the world in profound ways—has prompted countries to roll out significant policy changes that might otherwise have taken years. It has also sped the arrival of technologies and new ways of working and learning, moving us almost overnight into a new era. […]

Chart of the Week: Inequality in China

2019-03-13T14:08:33-04:00September 20, 2018|

By Sonali Jain-Chandra

September 20, 2018

中文, 日本語

A gardener outside a luxury auto showroom in Beijing. China has moved from being moderately unequal in 1990 to being one of the world’s most unequal countries (photo: Stephen Shaver/UPI/Newscom)

More than two decades of spectacular economic growth in China have raised incomes dramatically and lifted millions of people out of poverty. […]

5 Things You Need to Know About the IMF and the Sustainable Development Goals

2021-07-12T17:27:50-04:00July 26, 2018|

By Tony Annett and Chris Lane

July 26, 2018 

Version in عربي , 中文EspañolBaˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語,  PortuguêsРусский 

The global economic juggernaut is bumping into the boundaries of environmental safety (photo: Infogram).

Although we live in an age of unparalleled wealth and technological achievement, billions of people are still suffering from poverty, hunger, exclusion, and conflict. […]

How the Commodity Boom Helped Tackle Poverty and Inequality in Latin America

2019-03-14T10:21:04-04:00June 21, 2018|

By Ravi Balakrishnan and Frederik Toscani

June 21, 2018 

Versions in Español, Português

People buying produce in a busy market in Bahia, Brazil. During the commodity boom, Brazil saw significant reductions in poverty and inequality (photo: golero/iStock by Getty Images)

Latin America may be the most unequal region in the world, but it is the only region to significantly lower inequality over the past two decades, and the boom in commodity prices helped make it happen.  […]

A Dream Deferred: Inequality and Poverty Across Generations in Europe

2019-03-15T11:51:49-04:00January 24, 2018|

By Christine Lagarde

January 24, 2018

Versions in عربي (Arabic),  中文  (Chinese),  Español (Spanish),  Français (French),  日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian)

A young apprentice learns a trade in Palmela, Portugal: the right policies can help reduce inequality and poverty across generations in Europe (photo: Tim Brakemeier/DPA/Newscom).

The poet Langston Hughes once asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?” It is a relevant question to millions around the world today, especially young people, because of inequality and poverty.

This week IMF staff are launching new, European Union-focused research highlighting the impact of unemployment and the long-term consequences of inadequate social protection on the young. The study also explores ideas that can help fix the problem and reduce inequality and poverty for the next generation. […]

[…]

A Common Cause for Sustainable Growth and Stability in Central Africa

2019-03-25T11:03:24-04:00August 1, 2017|

By Abebe Aemro Selassie

August 1, 2017

Version in Français (French),  Português (Portuguese), and Español (Spanish);

Woman with a machete in Bafut, Cameroon: Six countries in Central Africa have a strategy to turn their economies around, with help from the IMF (photo: Heiner Heine/imageBroker/Newscom)

Six countries in central Africa have been hit hard by the collapse in commodity prices. Oil prices dropped, economic growth stalled, public debt rose, and foreign exchange reserves declined. A delayed response from policymakers, and a regional conflict have worsened the situation further for people in the region.

The countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community are Gabon, Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea. They share a common currency—the CFA franc—that is pegged to the euro, and have a common central bank that holds the region’s pool of foreign exchange reserves. […]

Chart of the Week: Ireland’s Fight Against Income Inequality

2019-03-25T14:02:21-04:00June 30, 2017|

By IMFBlog

June 30, 2017

Shoppers in Dublin, Ireland: the country has high income inequality, before taxes and transfers (photo: Caro Rupert Oberhaeuser/Newscom)

Ireland’s economy continues to recover after a housing market crash in 2008 plunged the country into a deep and severe crisis. The strong social welfare system provided an important cushion against the worst effects of the crisis.

Ireland’s tax-benefit system is one of the most effective in the European Union in redistributing income. The tax system is relatively progressive and funds a robust system of social benefits, a significant share of which is means-tested. Income inequality before taxes and transfers in Ireland is high—37 percent of income is held by the top 10 percent of income earners. Social transfers make up about 70 percent of income for the bottom 20 percent of earners.

[…]

Africa: Changing the Narrative

2017-04-15T14:15:46-04:00December 2, 2011|

Enduring poverty and conflict are so stark in Africa that it is sometimes difficult to see what else is happening. In April 2011, a study published by the Columbia Journalism Review titled “Hiding the Real Africa” documented how easily Africa makes news headlines in the West when a major famine, pandemic, or violent crisis breaks. But less attention is given to positive trends and underlying successes. In many cases, despite accelerated economic growth over the past 10 years, the rise of a middle class of consumers, and a more dynamic private sector attracting indigenous entrepreneurs, the narrative about Africa has remained focused on the bad news. That has, fortunately, started to change. This week’s cover story in The Economist, on “Rising Africa”, is testament to that. So too is the just-released December 2011 issue of Finance and Development (F&D) magazine on “Changing Africa: Rise of a Middle Class”, which explores Africa's potential.

The Other Rebalancing: Asia’s Quest for Inclusive Growth

2017-04-15T14:16:56-04:00October 17, 2011|

For the past two or three decades, rising inequality—inequality of incomes, of economic outcomes and of economic opportunities—has taken a back seat to the goal of boosting overall growth. But growing discontent with the fallout of the global financial crisis has put inequality back on top of the policy agenda. While the symptoms may be different, tackling inequality is no less an issue in Asia. Indeed, research shows that inequality can be counterproductive to sustaining longer-term growth. So, in increasingly turbulent global economic times, this gives added importance to promoting shared—or inclusive—growth in Asia that is more likely to be sustained. This has been a major focus our latest Regional Economic Outlook, which we presented in Manila today. A great challenge for the government here, and for other countries across the region, is to raise living standards for a wide section of their populations.
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