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  • Author: Brian Levy, Alan Hirsch, Vinothan Naidoo, Musa Nxele
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: South Africa's economic and social imbalances can no longer be swept under the rug. The country has three choices: muddle through, endure another surge of ethnopopulism, or pursue inclusive development. South Africa was one of the 1990s iconic cases of democratization. Yet starting in the mid-2000s, the country began to experience a disruptive collision between its strong political institutions and massive economic inequality. The collision intensified across the 2010s, resulting in economic stagnation and increasing threats to institutional integrity. Understanding why this collision occurred and worsened over time is relevant not just for other middle-income countries but also many higher-income democracies wrestling with similar tensions between a declining tolerance for high or rising inequality and institutions that seemed strong in the past but find their legitimacy increasingly being questioned. Ideally, ideas, institutions, and growth all reinforce one another in a virtuous developmental spiral. Ideas offer hope by encouraging cooperation and the pursuit of opportunities for win-win gains. Institutions assure that the bargains underpinning cooperation will be monitored and enforced. Together, ideas and institutions provide credible commitment, which fuels economic growth. However, such a benign scenario does not reckon with the ways in which persistent high inequality, accompanied by unresolved tensions between the distribution of economic and political power, can both put pressure on institutions and quickly change hope into anger. The result can be a cascading set of pressures and an accelerating downward spiral. For the first fifteen years of democracy, South Africa enjoyed the advantages of both effective institutions and a shared willingness of stakeholders believed in the power of cooperation. This enabled the country to move beyond counterproductive conflict and pursue win-win outcomes. Growth began to accelerate, which created new opportunities for expanding the middle class. Increased fiscal space made it possible to broaden access to public services and to social grants, which reduced absolute poverty. There were, however, some stark limitations in what was achieved. Gains for the poorest did little to alter their difficult economic and social realities. Less than a quarter of the total population, including essentially all white South Africans, enjoyed a standard of living that was middle class or better. There was ample reason for the majority of South Africans to feel that, notwithstanding the promises of mutual benefit, the deck remained stacked against them. This increased the vulnerability of South Africa’s political settlement.
  • Topic: Development, Inequality, Institutions
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Africa
  • Author: Lydia Assouad
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: To survive its ongoing financial crisis, Lebanon needs a new economic system that addresses massive income inequality. Paired with political and institutional reform, tax reform can help. Over the past three decades, Lebanon’s ruling class—which comprises intertwined political and business elites—has run the country into the ground. To survive its ongoing accumulation of challenges, including the financial crisis that erupted in October 2019, Lebanon requires a revamped state backed by a new economic model with social justice at its core. Tax reform is central to such an endeavor—and to ensuring that the state has the means both to deliver basic services and to tackle poverty and inequality.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Economic structure, Business , Social Justice, Tax Systems, Elites
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Chunbing Xing
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of China’s industrial and occupational structure in the last two decades and its impact on wage inequality. We find that non-routine cognitive and interpersonal tasks have increased, while routine cognitive tasks first increased and then declined. Occupation structural change is accompanying rising wage inequality. The wage premium for educated workers rose sharply in the 1990s and remained high thereafter. Occupations with high routine task intensity are associated with lower wages. While the return to education has become the largest contributor to wage inequality, routine task intensities have yet to play a significant role.
  • Topic: Education, Labor Issues, Employment, Inequality, Work Culture
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Annalena Oppel
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Community or interpersonal support as a critical source of livelihood sustenance in the Global South can exhibit unequal dynamics. An understanding of these practices is primarily tied to the conceptual space of poverty or small communities. Less is known about how social support systems might respond to structural inequalities. I address this by exploring how support practices might be shaped by inequalities in the Namibian context. I draw on primary network data to assess inequality as a social dynamic within the space of support and evaluate whether providing worse-off others corresponds to former discriminatory practices under the apartheid regime. My results suggest that inequality has normalized a sense of support as necessity for black but not white Namibians. More broadly, by recognizing differences in group practices, I evidence that exploring support practices across structural inequalities can enhance insights on the social replication of inter- and intragroup-based inequalities.
  • Topic: Economics, Race, Inequality, Social Networks
  • Political Geography: Africa, Namibia
  • Author: Nathan Babb
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the ethnoracial segregation trends of New Orleans, Louisiana between the years 2000, 2010, and 2018. It studies the effect of Hurricane Katrina—which struck in August 2005—on population figures and racial composition within two geographic units of study in Orleans parish: neighborhoods and census tract block groups. Since Hurricane Katrina, White residents have returned in larger numbers than Black residents, and particularly so in neighborhoods that were predominantly Black before the storm. In 2019, New Orleans had 100,000 fewer people than before the storm—nearly the same as the number of Black residents who have not returned. Using a Gibbs-Martin index, which measures racial diversity, the paper finds that decreases in population at the census block group level are associated with racial “diversifying.” This trend invites a conversation on the normative interpretations of racial heterogenization, its causes, and its consequences: who bears the costs of increased “diversity” and what is the historical backdrop it operates under?
  • Topic: Race, Natural Disasters, Governance, Inequality, Domestic Policy, Disaster Management , Segregation
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Helle Munk Ravnborg, Bernard Bashaasha, Rikke Broegaard, Michael Byaruhanga, Evelyne Lazaro, Festo Maro, Khamaldin Mutabazi, Teddy Nakanwagi, David Tumusiime
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This DIIS Working Paper describes the design of a questionnaire survey developed and implemented in order to trace the development outcomes of foreign agricultural investments in six research locations in Tanzania and Uganda. The questionnaire survey was conducted as part of the Agricultural Investors as Development Actors (henceforward AIDA) research programme which, in particular, focuses on development outcomes in terms of employment, migration, food security and wider dynamic economic effects, such as access to technology, infrastructure and markets; land markets and perceived security of land tenure; and water access and security of tenure. The working paper which serves as a methodological reference document describes the approach which was employed for drawing six independent samples of 400 respondents each, as well as the approach developed for computing a foreign agricultural investment exposure index and for computing a locally informed household poverty index.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Environment, Poverty, Water, Food, Governance, Inequality, Investment, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Sub-Saharan Africa, Africa
  • Author: Fana Gebresenbet
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: How can we explain the large gap between national legal and policy commitments to reduce and eliminate gender-based violence (GBV) and the reality and practice of GBV in Ethiopia? Hitherto explanations mainly centre on the conflict between and social and official norms, and the stubbornness of the former. In this new DIIS Working Paper, Fana Gebresenbet tries to go beyond this dichotomy to examine what happens in the ‘in-between spaces’. While the stubbornness of social norms only brings home to us the slow pace of change, it does not tell us what guides the emerging practices that contribute towards change. Instead, ‘practical norms’ are used here as an analytical tool to examine what happens as we move along the continuum from social to official norms. This helps us capture why routinised, coordinated and socially acceptable new practices occur before the major social norms change. This work is part of GLOW (Global Norms and Violence Against Women in Ethiopia), a research programme financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by DIIS.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Organization, Poverty, Children, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Adam Moe Fejerskov, Maria-Louise Clausen, Sarah Seddig
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The use of emerging technology in humanitarian settings carries significant risks. The complexity of these risks entails a need to understand and imagine risks beyond those commonly associated with a particular technology, field, or implementing organization. Recommendations: Apply an extensive interpretation of what risks may look like, where, when, for whom, and how they might occur. The indiscernible nature of risks related to technology use means identifying or imagining these moves beyond existing organizational experiences. Recognize that technology-related risks can emerge across the data chain and are not only relevant for engineering or operational staff.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Migration, Poverty, Science and Technology, Capitalism, Inequality, Conflict, Borders, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marie Ladekjær Gravesen, Mikkel Funder
  • Publication Date: 08-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to climate- and development-related challenges have recently gained attention in development cooperation. Among other, approaches that fall under the NbS umbrella include Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), Ecosystem-based Mitigation (EbM) and Ecosystem-based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). This new DIIS Working Paper focuses on nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation, EbA. It provides an overview of selected lessons learnt from EbA in the context of development cooperation, with a particular emphasis on the opportunities and risks regarding poverty alleviation and rights. It generates learning for Danish development cooperation, including future programming under Denmark’s 2021 development strategy, in which NbS approaches are emphasised. However, the paper can also be read as a general discussion of experiences with EbA in the development context. The three-legged EbA approach focuses on human well-being, ecosystem management, and climate change adaptation. EbA has already been applied to a range of ecosystems, including the restoration of mangroves to shield them against storm and sea-level rises, the management of watersheds to protect against droughts and flooding, the management of rangelands to inhibit desertification and land degradation, and more sustainably managed fisheries and forestry to tackle food insecurity. EbA thus not only addresses the restoration of already degraded ecosystems, but also the sustainable use, management, and conservation of intact ecosystems. The paper provides a conceptual overview of EbA in relation to NbS, outlines the potential in using EbA approaches, and describes the landscape of the institutions and agencies that fund, promote and implement EbA. The paper then provides a synthesis of lessons learned from PES and REDD+ schemes that are of relevance to EbA. For instance, it is emphasised that many REDD+ measures have effectively existed as project islands that were not anchored in national or subnational planning and governance mechanisms. As a result, the conservation activities and socioeconomic benefits were often not effectively integrated or scaled up beyond small project sites. If comprehensively implemented, the EbA approach builds on these experiences by insuring full inclusion of stakeholders from all relevant sectors, as well as demanding full integration in existing policies, planning and governance practices from the ministry levels to sub-national governments. Among the final recommendations and possible entry points for Danish development cooperation, the paper highlights that the support must have a strong focus on ensuring that EbA is pro-poor (i.e. supports poverty alleviation) and rights-based (i.e. supports the rights of local resource users). Experience from EbA and related efforts show that EbA is not automatically pro-poor or supportive of local rights to natural resources and ecosystem services. In particular, there is insufficient attention to and knowledge of rights issues in EbA. Therefore, Danish development cooperation should help lead the way in ensuring that EbA takes a rights-based approach and supports poverty alleviation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Natural Resources, Water, Food, Governance, Inequality, Investment, Land Rights
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Neil Anthony Webster
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Social protection programmes in Nepal have increased significantly in the past two decades, but are they the programmes for change that they claim to be? Do the social transfers involved help in reducing forms of inequality or do they reproduce existing hierarchies and dominant social and economic interests? Are the changes introduced sustainable and if so, for whom? This Working Paper takes up the experiences in Nepal with its complex caste and ethnic structures. It considers the possibility that these programmes might be reproducing existing social hierarchies and thereby run counter to the aims and objectives that they are designed to pursue.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Inequality, Ethnicity, Caste, Society
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Nepal
  • Author: Line Jespersgaard Jakobsen
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This DIIS Working Paper elaborates how local consent to a huge industrial mining complex, including a port and a 150 km railway built in the 1980’s on indigenous arid lands, were created. Showing how both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security technologies were effective in preparing the complex, constructing the necessary infrastructure and securing the operation, the paper at the same time illustrates how corporate security practices have changed over time in the northern part of Colombia. The paper is based on extended ethnographic fieldwork in La Guajira, Colombia, carried out through 2018 and 2019 as well as historical written documents.
  • Topic: Security, Environment, Oil, Poverty, Natural Resources, Non State Actors, Gas, Capitalism, Inequality, Economy, Conflict, Ethnography, Violence, Investment, Justice, Land Rights, Minerals
  • Political Geography: Colombia, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Lily Salloum Lindegaard, Mikkel Funder, Esbern Friis-Hanse
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: The Evaluation of Danish Support to Climate Change Adaptation in Developing Countries has just come out. But what knowledge does it build on and what fundamental questions does it explore? This Preparatory Study, commissioned by the EVAL Department of Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2019, lays the groundwork for the evaluation. It sought to help define the scope of the evaluation; identify potential country case studies, case projects and evaluation themes; and point out overarching issues and questions to be addressed in the evaluation. To do so, the study provides overviews of all Danish climate change adaptation-related Official Development Assistance (ODA) from 2008 to 2018 and of adaptation support through the Danish Climate Envelope, which provides Fast Start Finance for climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries. The study also includes an analysis of trends and gaps in the Climate Envelope. These, and other outputs from the study, are now available in this DIIS Working Paper. The paper’s analysis and findings continue to have relevance for discussions of how we approach climate change, particularly adaptation, in Danish development assistance.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Europe, Denmark
  • Author: Mohamed Aden Hassan, Sahra Ahmed Koshin, Peter Albrecht, Mark Bradbury, Fatima Dahir Mohamed, Abdirahman Edle Ali, Karuti Kanyinga, Nauja Kleist, George Michuki, Ahmed Musa, Jethro Norman, Obadia Okinda
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Diaspora humanitarianism is characterised by rapid mobilisation and engagement that is built upon social networks, affective motivations, informal delivery and accountability mechanisms. This has implications for how it fits into the broader international humanitarian system. KEY TAKEAWAYS: ​​■ Diaspora humanitarianism grows out of transnational connections that link diaspora groups with their families and homelands. This relational and affective dimension enables rapid mobilisation and delivery to hard-to-reach areas. ■ Remittances to conflict-affected countries surpass official humanitarian aid six times, blurring boundaries between short-term emergency relief and long-term development. ■ Accountability practices tend to be informal and trust-based, structured around reputation. Overall coordination with formal political or humanitarian systems is usually absent.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Poverty, Diaspora, Inequality, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Meron Zeleke
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Marital rape and intimate partner violence are controversial issues all over the world either because they are recognised as criminal acts and strongly condemned, or because they are silenced as something that belongs to the private sphere and should not be the object of public scrutiny. In either case, they are acts of repression and gender inequality. In this DIIS Working Paper, Meron Zeleke, associate professor at the Addis Ababa University, explores the issue in an Ethiopian context. She takes a point of departure in historical debates and outlines the development of global and regional norms. The Maputo Protocol on the rights of women in Africa explicitly condemns marital rape. Ethiopia has recently ratified the protocol but has made a number of reservations including in relation to marital rape. The main part of the paper is constituted by an analysis of the ambiguous law reforms when it comes to marital rape in Ethiopia. This analysis points to several different explanations of the lack of criminalisation of marital rape, but suggests that the recent change of government may create space for addressing the issue again. The paper is part of the GLOW research programme.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Poverty, Women, Inequality, Rape, Marital Rape
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Mikkel Funder, Holle Wlokas, Karen Holm Olsen
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Renewable energy is key to combatting climate change, but it is critical to ensure a just energy transition that benefits all. Denmark’s development cooperation supports the growth of large-scale renewable energy schemes in several countries, but what is good for recipient governments and Danish exports is not automatically good for the poor. In recent years large-scale wind- and solar schemes in developing countries have increasingly met with local resistance from communities who do not feel they benefit from such projects. How can Denmark help ensure that renewable energy projects contribute to community development in the areas where projects are situated? This policy brief provides lessons learnt and associated recommendations from one particular attempt to address this issue, namely South Africa’s efforts to incorporate community development as a criteria in the auction schemes through which renewable energy is procured. This policy is implemented through the nationwide REIPPP programme, which is among the few of its kind globally. While South Africa’s REIPPPP is not perfect and still developing, the programme does exemplify the basic principle that governments can build requirements for privately owned wind- and solar projects into procurement schemes. Requirements to finance community development, support Community Trusts, and allocate shares to communities are thus examples of approaches that could be developed and adapted elsewhere. In addition, the South African programme includes scoring and - performance criteria in the tendering and monitoring process that align with South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment policy. The South African experience also, however, illustrates how public, private and community interests may differ in terms of what community development is and how it should be supported. This highlights the importance of developing democratic and inclusive structures for debating and decision-making on the use and allocation of benefits from large-scale renewable energy projects. Drawing on the lessons from South Africa and other similar schemes, the policy brief recommends that Danish development cooperation should: Support the incorporation of community benefits in regulatory frameworks for public procurement of private renewable energy generation Support development of practice frameworks for community engagement in the renewable energy sector Support community co-ownership of renewable energy generation and democratic governance of benefit sharing arrangements The policy brief is the result of collaborative research between DIIS, Stellenbosch University and the UNEP DTU Partnership. It forms part of the wider TENTRANS project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and administered by Danida Fellowship Centre.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Poverty, Natural Resources, Inequality, Emerging States
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Marie Hyland, Simeon Djankov, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: reater legal equality between men and women is associated with a narrower gender gap in opportunities and outcomes, fewer female workers in positions of vulnerable employment, and greater political representation for women. While legal equality is on average associated with better outcomes for women, the experience of individual countries may differ significantly from this average trend, depending on the countries’ stage of development (as proxied by per capita GDP). Case studies from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, and Spain demonstrate this deviation. Especially in developing countries, legislative measures may not necessarily translate into actual empowerment, due mainly to deeply entrenched social norms, which render legal reforms ineffective. Women are more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment in low- and lower-middle-income economies but less likely than men to be in vulnerable employment in upper-middle- and high-income economies. Analysis of a 50-year panel of gendered laws in 190 countries reveals that country attributes that do not vary or change only slowly over time—such as a country’s legal origin, form of government, geographic characteristics, and dominant religion—explain a very large portion of the variation across countries. This finding suggests that the path to legal equality between men and women may be a long and arduous one. Nevertheless, the data also show that the past five decades have seen considerable progress toward legal gender equality. Gendered laws do evolve, suggesting a role for legal reforms in women’s economic empowerment.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Law, Women, Inequality, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, South Asia, India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Spain
  • Author: Albert Trithart
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: Sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) have been on the UN’s agenda for more than twenty-five years. Many of the earliest developments took place in the UN human rights mechanisms and Human Rights Council. Increasingly, however, UN agencies, funds, and programs are also integrating SOGIESC into their policy and programming. This paper explores what these UN entities have been doing to respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. It looks at how the UN’s work on SOGIESC has intersected with its work on human rights, global public health, development, humanitarian affairs, peace and security, and gender. It also assesses what has been driving forward policy and programming on SOGIESC and the barriers that have held back further progress. The paper concludes with recommendations for the UN Secretariat, UN agencies, funds, and programs, supportive UN member states, and LGBTI activists across five areas: Building the human resources needed to institutionalize the UN’s work on SOGIESC; Making the UN a safe and accepting workplace for LGBTI people; Mainstreaming and coordinating work on SOGIESC; Strengthening partnerships between the UN and other actors; and Continuing to expand policy and programming on SOGIESC into new areas.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, United Nations, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, LGBT+, Peace, Transgender
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gregory Claeys, Zsolt Darvas, Maria Demertzis, Guntram B. Wolff
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the biggest global recession since the Second World War. Forecasts show the European Union underperforming economically relative to the United States and China during 2019-2023. Southern European countries have been particularly strongly affected. While the ICT sector has benefitted from the COVID-19 crisis, tourism, travel and services have suffered. Business insolvencies have, paradoxically, fallen. While total employment has almost recovered, the young and those with low-level qualifications have suffered employment losses. Inequality could rise. The pandemic may lead to medium to long-term changes in the economy, with more teleworking, possibly higher productivity growth and changed consumer behaviour. Policymakers must act to prevent lasting divergence within the EU and to prevent scarring from the fallout from the pandemic. The first priority is tackling the global health emergency. Second, we warn against premature fiscal tightening and recommend instead additional short-term support from national budgets. Over the medium term, fiscal policymakers will need to gradually move away from supporting companies through subsidies, towards tax incentives for corporate investment. A review of the European fiscal framework is needed to achieve the EU’s green goals more rapidly. The quality of public finances, how policymakers spend resources and the associated reforms are of central importance to prevent scarring. Improving the efficiency of insolvency procedures will be crucial for speedy and effective recovery. Targeted labour market policies for the young and less-qualified are needed. As teleworking becomes a more permanent feature of the EU’s labour markets, it will be crucial to adapt social security and taxation systems in the context of the single market for labour. The EU should resist protectionist calls in the wake of the pandemic. Rigorous competition policy enforcement and an integrated EU market have been beneficial for European convergence and growth. Capital markets have an important role to play in a speedy recovery.
  • Topic: Governance, European Union, Inequality, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: GDP contractions are typically associated with within-country income inequality increases. While official income inequality data for 2020 will not be available for about two years, the already available employment data for 2020 shows that the difference between highly-educated and low-educated people in terms of job losses is correlated with the economic shock from the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that the depth of the economic recession is related to the increase in within-country income inequality in 2020. Scenarios based on historical patterns of recessions and within-country income inequality increases suggest relatively small increases in global income inequality in 2020. Factors mitigating global inequality increases in 2020 include larger GDP per-capita declines in richer advanced countries than in poorer emerging and developing countries, and the positive GDP growth of China, which suggests that within-country inequality in the world’s most populous country might have not changed much in 2020. In contrast, it is quite likely there was a significant increase in European Union income inequality in 2020, partly reversing the decline during the previous decades.
  • Topic: Poverty, European Union, Employment, Inequality, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sungbae An, Minsoo Han, Subin Kim, Jinhee Lee
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP)
  • Abstract: The decline in labor share is recognized as a global phenomenon. Concerns have been raised that this trend will exacerbate the income inequality between business owners as capitalists and households as the labor suppliers, prompting a decline in household income and consumption, which are major driving forces for sustainable growth. Meanwhile, various policy measures have been introduced to raise the labor share, with the aim of correcting inequality and boosting growth. This study explores the determinants of labor share and analyzes the effects of these factors on the economy and social welfare, offering various interpretations and policy alternatives according to economic conditions.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Inequality, Economy, Business , Welfare
  • Political Geography: Asia, Korea
  • Author: Mario Negre
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: With inequality reduction now being officially and broadly recognised as a key development objective with its own Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 10), there is a need for simple, economical and quick methodologies with which to focus on this area and assess progress. This paper presents such a methodology, which allows a rough assessment of the potential impacts of development cooperation on income, consumption and wealth inequality. This is important, as a rigorous causal analysis of the contribution development cooperation makes to reducing a partner country’s inequality is complex and costly. First, the relative contribution of targeted development cooperation programmes and projects to the economies of partner countries tends to be small (though admittedly not in all cases). Second, a myriad of factors contribute to changes in inequality in any given country, and assessing the impact of all of them is a complex, imprecise, time-consuming and resource-intensive exercise.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Benjamin Crost
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC)
  • Abstract: This paper provides evidence that adverse economic conditions contributed to the rise of anti-democratic extremism in the United States. A state-level analysis shows that increases in the unemployment rate during the Great Recession led to a large increase in the number of anti democratic extremist groups. The effect is concentrated in states with high pre-existing racial resentment, as proxied by racist web searches, and strongest for the male unemployment rate and the white unemployment rate. If unemployment had remained at its pre-recession level, the increase in anti-democratic groups between 2007 and 2010 could have been reduced by more than 60%.
  • Topic: Economics, Democracy, Inequality, Far Right, Economic Inequality, Political Extremism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Roxana Elena Manea, Patrizio Piraino, Martina Viarengo
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute (IHEID)
  • Abstract: We study the relationship between housing inequality and crime in South Africa. We create a novel panel dataset combining information on crimes at the police station level with census data. We find that housing inequality explains a significant share of the variation in both property and violent crimes, net of spillover effects, time and district fixed effects. An increase of one standard deviation in housing inequality explains between 9 and 13 percent of crime increases. Additionally, we suggest that a prominent post-apartheid housing program for low-income South Africans helped to reduce inequality and violent crimes. Together, these findings suggest the important role that equality in housing conditions can play in the reduction of crime in an emerging economy context.
  • Topic: Apartheid, Crime, Economics, Law, Inequality, Violence, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa
  • Author: Juan Leon, Gabriela Guerrero, Santiago Cueto, Paul Glewwe
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)
  • Abstract: This study contributes to the scarce literature on school effectiveness in secondary education in Peru by addressing the following questions: i) which educational processes within schools are most influential in math and reading comprehension? and in the case of the most effective schools, ii) what is the importance that principals, teachers, and students place on school processes variables in explaining educational outcomes? We use a mixed-method design that follows a sequential explanatory design. Our results point out the relevance of school process variables at the school level. Therefore, educational programs carried out by local and national governments should pay more attention to the dynamics within the school to mitigate the educational inequalities, equalizing upwards the opportunities for children in impoverished public schools.
  • Topic: Education, Children, Inequality, Public Sector
  • Political Geography: Peru
  • Author: Saskia Brechenmacher, Caroline Hubbard
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Political parties around the world face a crisis in public confidence. Many citizens view them as inaccessible and unresponsive to their concerns. Parties pose specific challenges for women, who face both formal and informal barriers to participation, including opaque nomination procedures, violence, and parties with hypermasculine cultures. The formation of new parties during periods of political transition represents a potential opportunity to break these patterns. Transitions can be openings to transform the broader political, legal, and social barriers to an inclusive kind of politics. In these moments of flux, the development of new party branches and rules, as well as the renegotiation of broader institutional frameworks, can enable women and other marginalized groups to push for greater political representation within party structures. What factors influence the level of gender inclusion in processes of party development? This question is central for policymakers, advocates, and practitioners seeking to support inclusive democracy and gender equality in transitional societies and beyond. To shed light on this topic, this study investigates gender inclusion in three types of party formation that commonly unfold during political transitions: a social movement to a party (as exemplified by Ennahda in Tunisia); an armed movement to a party (as illustrated by the African National Congress [ANC] in South Africa); and a dominant party to a breakaway party (as shown by the Mouvement du Peuple pour le Progrès [MPP] in Burkina Faso).
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Political Parties
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, North Africa, Tunisia, Burkina Faso
  • Author: Ricardo Hausmann, Ulrich Schetter
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: In this paper, we develop a heterogeneous agent general equilibrium framework to analyze optimal joint policies of a lockdown and transfer payments in times of a pandemic. In our model, the effectiveness of a lockdown in mitigating the pandemic depends on endogenous compliance. A more stringent lockdown deepens the recession which implies that poorer parts of society find it harder to subsist. This reduces their compliance with the lockdown, and may cause deprivation of the very poor, giving rise to an excruciating trade-off between saving lives from the pandemic and from deprivation. Lump-sum transfers help mitigate this trade-off. We identify and discuss key trade-offs involved and provide comparative statics for optimal policy. We show that, ceteris paribus, the optimal lockdown is stricter for more severe pandemics and in richer countries. We then consider a government borrowing constraint and show that limited fiscal space lowers the optimal lockdown and welfare, and increases the aggregate death burden during the pandemic. We finally discuss distributional consequences and the political economy of fighting a pandemic.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Political Economy, Inequality, Economic Growth, Fiscal Policy, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Ina Ganguli, Ricardo Hausmann, Martina Viarengo
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We examine gender gaps in career dynamics in the legal sector using rich panel data from one of the largest global law firms in the world. The law firm studied is representative of multinational law firms and operates in 23 countries. The sample includes countries at different stages of development. We document the cross-country variation in gender gaps and how these gaps have changed over time. We show that while there is gender parity at the entry level in most countries by the end of the period examined, there are persistent raw gender gaps at the top of the organization across all countries. We observe significant heterogeneity among countries in terms of gender gaps in promotions and wages, but the gaps that exist appear to be declining over the period studied. We also observe that women are more likely to report exiting the firm for family and work-life balance reasons, while men report leaving for career advancement. Finally, we show that various measures of national institutions and culture appear to play a role in the differential labor-market outcomes of men and women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Employment, Inequality, Human Capital, Legal Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dereje Feyissa
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Violence against Women (VAW) is among the human rights violations that women face globally every day. The roots of VAW lie in historically unequal power relations between men and women and pervasive discrimination against women in both the public and private spheres. VAW is a global phenomenon that is not limited to certain cultures or countries. However, the form it takes is context-specific. In Ethiopia VAW is pervasive, occurring at three levels as identified by the UN: family; community; and the state. Despite policy pronouncements and the implementation of some practical measures, VAW is still prevalent in Ethiopia. This new Working Paper by Dereje Feyissa, adjunct associate professor, Addis Ababa University, offers a political interpretation to explain the gap between policy and practice on VAW in Ethiopia. Specifically, it argues that the gap between policy and practice lies in the type of regime in Ethiopia, which has undermined the political will and limited the space for gender activism. Historically, this has been evident ideologically (the Marxist frame of the ‘women question’ and the vanguardism connected with it), but also in respect to political legitimacy (ethnic federalism and the priority given to cultural rights), entrenched authoritarianism and the limited space available for gender activism by women’s right groups. The Working Paper is published as part of the international research programme GLOW – Global Norms and Violence Against Women in Ethiopia – financed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Topic: Development, Diplomacy, International Organization, Poverty, Women, Inequality, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Odd Helge Fjeldstad, Ole Therkildsen
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need in poor countries in Africa for more revenues is obvious and growing - also because aid agencies are quite stingy in assisting them in this crisis. The pandemic’s negative impact on revenues is especially pronounced in countries that are most dependent on international trade, tourism and petroleum exports. The good news is that sub-Saharan African tax collectors have performed almost as well as their peers in the much wealthier Latin America and substantially better than in South Asian countries. Increased domestic revenue mobilisation (DRM) in poor African countries is possible depending on the country’s specific situation and political economy - but it will not be easy: The IMF’s position is that increasing the tax-to-GDP ratio by five percentage points by 2030 is a reasonable aspiration for poor countries. That was unrealistic before Covid-19: it is even more so now. No silver bullet ('tax the rich'!) will generate substantial additional revenues on its own. Better utilisation of a range of revenues sources is needed. A stop for Illicit Financial Flows will clearly help, but is not the golden egg that many believe. Inequality may increase due to Covid-19. However, major redistribution through domestic taxation (as in the Danish welfare state model) is unrealistic in countries with low revenue-to-GDP ratios. Nor is there strong organised political support for such redistribution in poor African countries. Donor support to DRM in poor countries can provide manifold returns on investments if targeted strategically. Support to relevant local and international civil society organisations is also important to help to foster public engagement in tax reforms and improved fiscal accountability. The Sustainable Development Goals in poor countries are strongly under-financed. The progress and sustainability of the SDGs will increasingly depend on poor countries’ own revenues. Hence the centrality of strategically relevant donor support to DRM.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Tax Systems, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Author: Marie Hyland, Simeon Djankov, Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This paper provides the first global look at how gender discrimination by the law affects women’s economic opportunity and charts the evolution of legal inequalities over five decades. Using the World Bank’s newly constructed Women, Business and the Law database, it documents large and persistent gender inequalities, especially with regard to pay and treatment of parenthood. The paper finds positive correlations between more equal laws pertaining to women in the workforce and more equal labor market outcomes, such as higher female labor force participation and a smaller wage gap between men and women.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality, Economic Inequality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Renata Avila Pinto
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: Governments all over the world are adopting cutting-edge technologies to experiment with quicker, cheaper and more efficient delivery of services traditionally provided by human beings. From citizen security to allocation of social ben- efits, technologies are being deployed at a rapid pace, the aim being to serve people better, reduce costs and enhance accountability. The results are mixed. In some cases, the technologies exclude entire groups of the population, thereby exacer- bating race, gender or economic inequalities. In other cases, technology is used to surveil specific groups or communities, eroding their right to pri- vacy. And there are no clear remedies to mitigate the harm done by machines or to increase the accountability of those deploying the systems. However, when designing tech interventions, universal human rights, democratic rules and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should shape the initiatives of the public sector. An important prerequisite is a higher degree of autonomy from big tech companies. Further- more, participatory design and testing in collabo- ration with the communities the technologies are intended to serve are needed, not only to avoid harm but to increase effectiveness and quality.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Governance, Inequality, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Céline Monnier
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: COVID-19 is creating a series of crises that increase the risk of conflict worldwide. Beyond the health impact, issues like worsening inequality, food insecurity, human rights abuses, and political tensions can deepen pre-existing social fractures in any country, creating additional layers of grievance. Addressing these risks early on and building resilience to them is key to preventing the potential for violence. But the pandemic also brings new opportunities for peacebuilding. A system-wide implementation of the sustaining peace approach is critical to ensure that United Nations response contributes to decreasing risks for violent conflict in the longer term—including efforts to “build back better.” This report draws on interviews with 25+ individuals across the UN system and member states to highlight some of the key challenges for peacebuilding in the immediate COVID-19 period as well as in the longer term. The report documents how entities across the UN have made positive steps toward implementing a sustaining peace approach, and provides recommendations for deepening these gains across the system.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Inequality, Peace, Humanitarian Crisis, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tobias Arbogast
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper examines the ownership structure of eurozone public debt and the distribu- tional consequences thereof. Through both a comparative perspective and an explorative case study of Italy, this paper asks two research questions. Firstly, it asks who holds gov- ernment debt in Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. I focus in on Italy to provide, to the author’s knowledge, the first highly disaggregated view of the holding structure of public debt. Secondly, for Italy I study distributional effects by examining who benefits from the interest received on government debt. This is accomplished through an investigation of the various stakeholders associated with public debt. Results indicate that most of the public debt is held by private and public financial institutions but rarely directly by households. Both direct and indirect beneficiaries of the interest received on government bonds in Italy turn out to be largely wealthy households, reflecting the unequal ownership of wealth more generally. However, prominent public financial institutions are also significant beneficiaries, which likely ameliorates a possible regressive distributional effect of the public debt hold- ing structure. The paper discusses the results with an eye on inequality and contributes to further study of the political economy of public debt.
  • Topic: Debt, Inequality, Financial Institutions , Public Debt
  • Political Geography: France, Germany, Spain, Italy
  • Author: Ruth Dukes, Wolfgang Streeck
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies
  • Abstract: This paper revisits the notions of contract and status found in classical sociology, legal theory, and labour law. Adopting an historical perspective, it explores the fragmentation of the status of industrial citizenship during the neoliberal period and discusses the enduring usefulness of the status/contract distinction in analyzing current trends in the regulation of working relations, including the spread of “gig” or platform-mediated work. Elements of status, it is argued, must always be present if work is to be performed and paid for as the parties require it. Claims to the contrary – for example, that the gig economy creates a labour market without search frictions and only minimal transaction costs: contracts without status – assume an undersocialized model of (monadic) social action that has no basis in the reality of social life (Durkheim, Weber). Still, status may come in a variety of forms that are more or less desirable from the perspective of workers, businesses, and society at large. The paper traces what it conceives as the privatization of status via contracts between employers and workers under the pressure of marketization and dominated by corporate hierarchies. Towards the end of the twentieth century, sociologists observed the division of workers into two groups or classes – core (with relatively well-paid and secure employment) and peripheral (low-paid and insecure). Thirty years later, gross inequalities of wealth and conceptions of the neoliberal self as ever-improving, ever-perfectible, are combining to create novel forms of status not fully anticipated by the literature.
  • Topic: Democracy, Inequality, Citizenship, Private Sector, Industry
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Diego Sánchez-Ancochea
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of income inequality in Latin America over the long run, comparing them with explanations of why the whole region is unequal. I first show how land inequality can account for differences between Latin America and other parts of the world but how it does not explain within-region differences. Using qualitative comparative analysis, I then consider how political institution and actors interact with the economic structure (i.e., type of export specialization) and with the ethnic composition of the population. The paper has several findings. A low indigenous/afrodescendant population is a necessary condition for relatively low inequality. I identify two sufficient-condition paths, both of which include the role of democracy, political equality, and a small indigenous and afrodescendant population. The first path also includes a favorable export specialization, while the second one includes the presence of leftist presidents instead. The paper calls for more explicit comparisons between our analytical models for the whole region and our explanations of between-country differences. Hopefully, the paper can also trigger more research on how the interactions between ethnicity, politics, and the export structure shape inequality in Latin America.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Race, Social Movement, Democracy, Inequality, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Bhashkar Mazumder, Maria Rosales-Rueda, Margaret Triyana
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: We analyze the long-run and intergenerational effects of a large-scale school building project (INPRES) that took place in Indonesia between 1974 and 1979. Specifically, we link the geographic rollout of INPRES to longitudinal data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey covering two generations. We find that individuals exposed to the program have better health later in life along multiple measures. We also find that the children of those exposed experience improved health and educational outcomes and that these effects are generally stronger for maternal exposure than paternal exposure. We find some evidence that household resources, neighborhood quality, and assortative mating may explain a portion of our results. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the long-run and multigenerational benefits when evaluating the costs and benefits of social interventions in a middle-income country.
  • Topic: Education, Health, Poverty, Inequality, Economic Growth, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia
  • Author: Aspen Institute
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: This is the second annual report for the American Talent Initiative, highlighting it has achieved more than 40 percent of the progress needed to realize its goal to enroll 50,000 additional lower-income students at high-graduation rate institutions across the country. This report also centers on the impact that an equity-focused, comprehensive strategy can have on institutions’ ability to enroll and graduate more of these talented students.
  • Topic: Education, Inequality, Income Inequality, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tamara Nair
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In this time of compounding global crisis, the world needs to come together to not only fight the pandemic but to also preserve our commitments to certain shared beliefs. One of these is the eradication of gender inequality even in the midst of this humanitarian crisis.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Wang Feng
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Video
  • Institution: Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University
  • Abstract: On October 7, 2020, Wang Feng, Professor of Sociology at UC Irvine joined Columbia's Qin Gao, Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and director of the China Center for Social Policy for an event: "Public Transfers and Inequality in China." With expanded fiscal capacity and rising concerns over economic inequality, the Chinese government in the last decade and a half has vastly rebuilt and expanded its social welfare regime. Using the National Transfer Accounts (NTA) methodology and both micro-level survey data and macro-level government statistics, this study examines the distribution of public transfers in education, health care and pension across generations and income groups in 2014 and compare it with those in 2010. While per capita public transfers in absolute terms remained in favor of higher-income groups and the elderly in 2014, as in 2010, the gap in receiving public transfers between the rich and the poor was reduced notably in this short time period. Public transfers also became more progressive in relative terms, with the bottom income group receiving much higher public transfers relative to their per capita household income than the wealthier groups. These results reveal that although the unequal distribution of public transfers continues and it in part results from the fragmented program design and the legacies of socialist inequalities, China’s expanded social welfare programs have contributed to narrowing the vast income inequality in this country.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Inequality, Welfare
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Sarah Rose
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: By 2030, it is estimated that half of the world’s poor will be concentrated in fragile states. These are countries where the social contract between the government and its people is weak or absent—a breakdown which both creates a heightened risk of shocks from conflict, violence, pandemic illness, and/or natural disasters, and limits the country’s resilience to them. The increasing interlinkage between global development and state fragility, the potential cross-border nature of some of the risks, and the deeply mixed track record of successful international intervention to date, have prompted many donor organizations—including the United States—to reorient their policies and approaches to better support fragile states’ pathways to peace, stability, and resilience.
  • Topic: Security, Poverty, Inequality, Fragile States, Borders, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter Petri, Meenal Banga
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: The unprecedented rise in global interdependence since World War II, especially since the 1970s, has been very productive. World gross domestic product (GDP) growth increased from around 2% per year in the 1970s to 4% per year before the global financial crisis. Globalisation helped to lift a billion people from extreme poverty and improved the lives of billions more. The United States also gained an estimated 11%–19% of its annual GDP. Yet many Americans are concerned about the fairness of these gains. We review evidence of increasing wage inequality and stubborn unemployment effects, even though, on balance, technological change has had a much greater impact on these outcomes than globalisation. Barriers against globalisation do not offer solutions to inequality – they reduce the size of the economic pie without necessarily improving its distribution. Policies should focus on redistributing gains from growth, increasing the productivity of all workers, and helping affected communities adapt socially and economically to rapid change.
  • Topic: Globalization, Financial Crisis, Inequality, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Kimty Seng
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study analyses the effects of financial inclusion on poverty in terms of household income per capita in Cambodia, with data from the FinScope Survey carried out in 2015. The analysis describes the effects via financial literacy, accounting for endogenous selection bias resulting from unobserved confounders and for structural differences between users and non-users of financial services in terms of income functions. The findings suggest that the use of financial services is very likely to make a great contribution to reducing household budget deficits and poverty if the users, female in particular, have at least basic financial knowledge.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Finance, Financial Services
  • Political Geography: Asia, Cambodia
  • Author: Rashesh Shrestha, Samuel Nursamsu
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the status of financial inclusion in Indonesia and examines the impact of financial inclusion – based on availability of bank branches on household outcomes – in Indonesia. Based on analysis of the World Bank’s Financial Inclusion Survey (FINDEX) data, Indonesia has made some progress on expanding financial inclusion. The share of individuals with bank accounts rose from less than 20% to just under 50% in 2017. Interestingly, while the gain between 2011 and 2014 was greater for individuals in the upper 60 percentile of income, the gains between 2014 and 2017 were more pro-poor. This progress was made possible due to concerted government efforts to expand financial inclusion. In our empirical analysis, we study how financial inclusion enables households with income gains into savings for assets and earnings. Using the Indonesian Family Life Survey data, we find that living in areas with high density of bank branches helps poor households accumulate savings. The marginal effect of financial inclusion on savings is highest amongst the households in the bottom quintile of per capita consumption distribution. Thus, access to formal financial institutions can lead to improvement in household welfare.
  • Topic: Inequality, Finance, Banks, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Takahiro Akita, Sachiko Miyata
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: This study measures the pro-poorness of urban and rural economic growth by region from 2004 to 2014 in Indonesia using pro-poor growth indexes, with data from the National Socio-Economic Survey (Susenas). It also conducts a probit analysis to explore the determinants of poverty. All regions (Sumatra, Java–Bali, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and East Indonesia) experienced a substantial increase in expenditure inequality in both urban and rural areas; thus, the change in poverty incidence due to redistribution effects is positive. Apart from East Indonesia, they reduced the incidence of poverty in both areas, but their growth was not pro-poor in the strict sense. According to the pro-poor growth indexes, urban areas performed better than rural areas; in most regions, the growth of urban areas was moderately pro-poor, while that of rural areas was weakly pro-poor or anti-poor. The government needs to take urban–rural and regional differences into account when formulating poverty alleviation policies and programs since these differences would affect economic growth and changes in inequality.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Economic Growth, Urban, Rural
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia-Pacific, Indo-Pacific
  • Author: Mario Del Pero, Paola Magri, Gary C. Jacobson, Michele Alacevich, Gabriella Sanchez, Scott L. Greer, Mario Del Pero, William F. Wechsler, Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: Unprecedented and unpredictable: this is how US President Donald Trump's administration has repeatedly been labelled. Beyond the frequent tweets and bombastic rhetoric, however, lie a more conventional four years, as the United States navigated an ever-evolving international reality, compounded by a global pandemic and one of the deepest economic recessions in over a century. This Report analyses the continuity and changes that occurred during Trump’s presidency. Domestically, it investigates the growing political polarization, the country's pre-pandemic economic performance, Trump's approach towards regular and irregular migration, and the US’ response to a healthcare emergency. At the international level, this volume looks at how the US stance has changed vis-à-vis China, the Middle East, and Europe. Which long-term trends has President Trump had to ride through? What was his trademark, and what might be his lasting legacy?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Immigration, European Union, Inequality, Economic Growth, Engagement , Donald Trump, COVID-19, Polarization, Disengagement
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Fabio Rugge, John R Allen, Giampiero Massolo, Thomas A. Campbell, Samuele Dominioni, Caitlin Chin, Mishaela Robison, John Villasenor, Darrell M. West, Paola Benanti
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI)
  • Abstract: The rise of Artificial Intelligence applications is accelerating the pace and magnitude of the political, securitarian, and ethical challenges we are now struggling to manage in cyberspace and beyond. So far, the relationship between Artificial Intelligence and cyberspace has been investigated mostly in terms of the effects that AI could have on the digital domain, and thus on our societies. What has been explored less is the opposite relationship, namely, how the cyberspace geopolitics can affect AI. Yet, AI applications have so far suffered from growing unrest, disorder, and lack of normative solutions in cyberspace. As such, from algorithm biases, to surveillance and offensive applications, AI could accelerate multiple growing threats and challenges in and through cyberspace. This report by ISPI and The Brookings Institution is an effort to shed light on this less studied, but extremely relevant, relationship.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Authoritarianism, Cybersecurity, Inequality, Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence, Disinformation, Cyberspace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Zsolt Darvas
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Bruegel
  • Abstract: The level and composition of public expenditures and revenues both have implications for economic development, as shown by the ‘fiscal multiplier’ and the ‘quality of public finance’ literature. Public finance decisions also influence the distribution of income. Based on a review of the literature, I argue for a fair distribution of income as reflected in low-income inequality, not particularly because of the impact of income inequality on long-term growth (which is a controversial issue), but primarily because income inequality typically implies inequality of opportunity. European Union countries have very diverse public finance structures and different levels of effectiveness and there is room for improvement in the growth and equality impacts in all countries. A general guideline would be that the most effective approach comprises progressive taxes and inheritance taxes, spending on education, health and public infrastructure, and better government effectiveness. At the height of the 2008 global crisis and the subsequent European financial and economic crises, the fiscal consolidation strategies of EU countries largely relied on cutting public investment and social spending (except pensions), which is the opposite of what is suggested in the literature. Better fiscal rules and good fiscal institutions are needed to safeguard growth- and distribution-friendly expenditures in a crisis.
  • Topic: Governance, European Union, Inequality, Income Inequality, Tax Systems, Macroeconomics, Economic Development , Public Spending
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pery Bazoti
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: The educational system in Greece has always been at the center of public discourse, not only for the shortcomings of its design, but also for the quality of the education offered. In this context, during the last decades, the rise in wage inequalities had led the literature to investigate the existence of a possible causal relationship between the level of education and income inequality. The present paper by Pery Bazoti examines the relationship between tertiary education and economic inequality. Taking into consideration the fact that potential inequalities in access to education can hinder the redistributive role of education, the starting point of the study is the access to tertiary education. The design and flaws of the Greek education system prevent university candidates from equal opportunities since the entrance to tertiary education institutions relies heavily on the economic background of their families. The economic crisis highlighted these inequalities mainly through the decline of the disposable household income and exacerbated the already crippled abilities of the education system due to the extensive cuts that took place during this time. Nevertheless, the data reveals that private expenditure -typically related to students’ preparation for exams for entrance into university, despite its decrease, continues to have the larger share of the households’ education budget.
  • Topic: Education, Reform, Inequality, Public Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece
  • Author: Jennifer Nicoll Victor
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Covid-19 makes politics worse because it has generated not only greater awareness about many inequalities in the US, but it also has sharpened those inequalities. Unfortunately, inequalities such as those discussed here have a way of becoming self-perpetuating.
  • Topic: Inequality, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Intissar Kherigi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: An account of the Arab uprisings of the last decade would be incomplete without an understanding of regional inequalities. While each country’s protests were driven by a distinct combination of grievances, a common factor has been the marginalisation of “peripheries”. The Sidi Bouzid region of Tunisia from which the Arab Spring started is a region rich in agricultural resources yet poor in infrastructure and economic opportunities. Its connection rate to running water is half the national average. A similar story can be seen across the flashpoints of unrest in the Arab world, a story of widening urban-rural divides, uneven regional development and political and economic exclusion of entire regions. Can decentralisation address these grievances? Since the 1980s, decentralisation has been championed as a driver for both democratisation and development, promising to empower regions, granting them political representation and enabling them to create their own economic strategies. However, a key fear among many, from politicians and bureaucrats to ordinary citizens, is that decentralisation is a means for the central state to withdraw from its traditional functions and transfer responsibility for service provision to under-resourced and over-burdened local government. Yet, the demands for freedom, dignity and social justice voiced by the Arab uprisings require the central state to be more present in peripheries, not less. Can decentralisation help achieve greater local development in peripheral regions without allowing the central state to withdraw from its obligations to citizens? Is it even possible to envisage new forms of local development within the framework of highly centralised Arab states? How can Arab states reconfigure their relations with local communities in the context of severe political and economic crises? This article explores these questions in the Tunisian context, where a major decentralisation process is taking place in response to demands for inclusion and development. It argues that in order to produce new modes of local development in peripheries, central state institutions need to fundamentally reform the way they function.
  • Topic: Inequality, Arab Spring, Decentralization , Bureaucracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, North Africa, Tunisia, Tunis
  • Author: Ahmed Tabaqchali
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Arab Reform Initiative (ARI)
  • Abstract: Iraq’s post-2003 political order, characterized by Muhasasa Ta’ifia with political sectarian elites using employment in public services to strengthen clientelism, has become economically unsustainable. The author’s earlier paper for the Arab Reform Initiative examined the impact of the drop in oil prices on the system. This article examines how Iraq’s growing demography erodes the patronage buying power of the sectarian elites, even though spending on clientelism has mushroomed over the years.
  • Topic: Demographics, Inequality, Elites
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Axel Berger, Sören Hilbrich, Gabriele Köhler
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: German Development Institute (DIE)
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) have placed increasing emphasis on gender equality. As part of this focus, the member states of both institutions have set out a series of objectives aimed at advancing gender equality. This report examines the degree to which these goals have been implemented in Germany. First, the gender equality goals that both institutions have set out since 2009 are presented and systematised. The report then investigates the current state of progress in Germany and describes measures that have already been undertaken to implement the goals.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, G20, Women, Inequality, G7
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Başak Akkan
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Children had received less attention in the early stages of the pandemic. The mortality rates among children have been almost non-existent, and consequently they have not constituted a risk group. However, in a country with high incidences of child poverty, Covid-19 could have a significant impact in aggravating the existing inequalities among children and in creating new forms of deprivation. Within this context, the impact of Covid-19 on children is analyzed under four headings: The poverty aggravating effect of the pandemic; the manifestation of inequalities regarding the physical (home) environment and living conditions of children; the deepening of digital inequalities and access to education; and increased and unrecorded cases of domestic violence and child abuse amid the lockdowns.
  • Topic: Children, Inequality, Social Policy, COVID-19, Health Crisis, Abuse
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Özge Karadağ Çaman, Selma Karabey
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The relationship of human health with social and the environmental factors has long been among the issues that have been dwelled on especially since the beginning of the 19th century. The field of medicine springing from these studies is known as “Social Medicine”. Although developments in pathology and microbiology caused the importance of social factors in the etiology of diseases to be set aside at the end of the 19th century, social medicine has acquired its currency again in later years. Indeed today, we need to read and understand the principles of social medicine more than ever.
  • Topic: Health, Inequality, Pandemic, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Shamindra Nath Roy, Partha Mukhopadhyay
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: India is one of the lowest globally in terms of female labour force participation (FLFP), ranking only better than Pakistan in South Asia. While the decline in FLFP in rural areas is starkly visible, the urban FLFP has been consistently low since the 1980s despite higher economic growth and increasing level of education among females. The economic cost of such low FLFP (16.8%) is huge and if, for instance, it could be raised to the level of FLFP in China (61.5%), it has the potential to raise India’s GDP up to 27%. This paper attempts to investigate the structural deficiencies behind this consistently low urban FLFP through a variety of perspectives, ranging from measuring the complexity of women’s work to the implications of caste, location and family structure. It finds factors like presence of female-friendly industries, provision of regular salaried jobs and policies that cater to women’s needs to work near home like availability of part-time work, can improve the situation, though prejudices arising from patriarchy require to be addressed to make these measures truly transformative and not palliative.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality, Economy
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Anindita Mukherjee, Shubhagato Dasgupta, Aparna Das
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Policy Research, India
  • Abstract: “Housing for All”, an often-stated vision for housing policies in India, has come to mean ownership houses for all residents. This singular focus has been part of programs from the early 1970s and has failed to recognize the range of housing tenures that may enable a viable, sustainable market. This paper reviews the evolution of housing policies since independence and shows that the emphasis on rental housing has not been a central part of housing programs to date. It then broadly characterizes the rental housing market in India, based on national statistics, to show how rental housing for the urban poor, is half of the rental housing market and is the least understood. Thereafter based on primary survey findings, it identifies the main issues that may inform a comprehensive rental housing program was to be developed in India.
  • Topic: Poverty, Inequality, Urban, Housing
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Paolo Brunori, Guido Neidhofer
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: We show that measures of inequality of opportunity (IOP) fully consistent with Roemer (1998)’s IOP theory can be straightforwardly estimated by adopting a machine learning approach, and apply our novel method to analyse the development of IOP in Germany during the last three decades. Hereby, we take advantage of information contained in 25 waves of the Socio-Economic Panel. Our analysis shows that in Germany IOP declined immediately after reunification, increased in the first decade of the century, and slightly declined again after 2010. Over the entire period, at the top of the distribution we always find individuals that resided in West-Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, whose fathers had a high occupational position, and whose mothers had a high educational degree. East-German residents in 1989, with low educated parents, persistently qualify at the bottom.
  • Topic: Education, Inequality, Post Cold War, Reunification
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany
  • Author: Guillermo Falcone, Carlo Lombardo
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: In this paper we characterize workers’ vulnerability to automation in the near future in Argentina as a function of the exposure to routinization of the tasks that they perform and the potential automation of their occupation. In order to do that we combine (i) indicators of potential automatability by occupation and (ii) worker’s information on occupation and other labor variables. We find that the ongoing process of automation is likely to significantly affect the structure of employment. In particular, unskilled and semi-skilled workers are likely to bear a disproportionate share of the adjustment costs. Automation will probably be a more dangerous threat for equality than for overall employment.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Employment, Inequality, Job Creation, Labor Market
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America
  • Author: Julian Martinez-Correa, Leonardo Peñaloza Pacheco, Leonardo Gasparini
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: The effect of immigration on preferences for redistribution has been recently studied in the context of developed countries receiving migrants from poorer coun- tries with very different cultural backgrounds. In this paper we explore this issue in the context of migration across similar Latin American countries. To this aim, we exploit data at the provincial level from a large attitudinal survey (LAPOP) and match it to immigration data from different sources. We follow three approaches: first, we implement an instrumental variables approach in a cross-section of cen- suses; second we estimate fixed effects models with data from a large sample of harmonized national household surveys, and third we exploit the massive inflow of Venezuelan refugees into the border country of Colombia with an instrumental vari- ables methodology. Our results suggest a significant, negative and non-monotonic relationship between the share of immigrants at the provincial level and the sup- port for redistribution policies. This anti-redistribution effect is larger among those individuals with higher income.
  • Topic: Migration, Immigration, Refugees, Inequality, Redistribution
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Hernan Winkler
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Distributive, Labor and Social Studies (CEDLAS)
  • Abstract: Evidence about the effect of exports on welfare at the local level is scarce. Using a unique dataset of international trade and poverty maps for almost 2,000 Mexican municipalities between 2004 and 2014, the study presented in this paper provides new evidence on the impact of a significant rise in exports on poverty and inequality at the local level. The analysis implements an instrumental variable approach that combines the initial structure of exports across municipalities with global trends in exports from developing to developed countries by sector. The results show that a 10 percent increase in the ratio of exports to workers reduces income inequality measured by the Gini coefficient by 0.17 points (using a 0 to 100 scale), but no significant effects on poverty reduction or average household incomes are identified. The lack of impacts on average incomes is driven by a rise in the supply of labor at the local level because municipalities with higher export growth experienced an increase in labor force participation and attracted more net migration, particularly of unskilled workers. Therefore, while total labor incomes grew in response to an increase in exports, average labor incomes per worker did not change. Declining remittances also blunted the effect of growing exports on household incomes.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Migration, Poverty, Inequality, Local
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
  • Abstract: This study sets out to estimate the determinants of household economic wellbeing and to evaluate the relative contributions of regressed-income sources in explaining measured inequality. In particular, a regression-based decomposition approach informed by the Shapley value, the instrumental variables econometric method, and the 2007 Cameroon household consumption survey, was used. This approach provides a flexible way to accommodate variables in a multivariate context. The results indicate that the household stock of education, age, credit, being bilingual, radio and electricity influence wellbeing positively, while rural, land and dependency had a negative impact on wellbeing. Results also show that rural, credit, bilingualism, education, age, dependency and land, in that order, are the main contributors to measured income inequality, meanwhile, the constant term, media and electricity are inequality reducing. These findings have policy implications for the ongoing drive to scale down both inequality and poverty in Cameroon.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Inequality, Economic Inequality, Economic Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Cameroon
  • Author: Nicole Froio
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA)
  • Abstract: As numbers of COVID-19 cases in Brazil steadily rise into the thousands, favela community leaders in vulnerable communities have raised concerns about the difficulties of complying with preventative measures in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas because of the lack of consistent water services. President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-science response to the global pandemic, which has included calling the virus a “little flu” and urging businesses to re-open despite World Health Organization advice, has worsened the situation for vulnerable communities in Brazil.
  • Topic: Health, Inequality, Public Health, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Matthias Krönke
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: According to UNESCO (2020), approximately 1.2 billion students and youth worldwide are affected by school and university closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To adjust to these new circumstances, governments must develop innovative solutions to ensure inclusive learning opportunities during this period of unprecedented educational disruption. This is especially true in African countries, where despite recent progress traditional education has faced infrastructural challenges and struggled to develop the human resources necessary to address students’ educational needs (Krönke & Olan’g, 2020; United Nations, 2019; UNESCO Institute of Statistics, 2016. This policy paper uses Afrobarometer survey data to look at digital infrastructure, the availability of digital devices at the household level, and digital literacy among African adults. While rates of digital literacy among children are likely to differ, it is important to understand these dynamics among adults for at least two reasons. First, adults are likely to shape children’s access to and experience with technology. Second, understanding current levels of access to devices and levels of digital literacy among adults provides a baseline against which future assessments can measure progress over time. Survey findings from Afrobarometer Round 7 (2016/2018) show a substantial digital divide both across and within countries, reflected in uneven access to resources such as electricity and unequal access to and use of smartphones and computers. The results suggest that government efforts to redress widespread inequalities need to be increased drastically to avoid the widening of an education gap among their citizens. The paper also discusses the potential benefits of providing smartphones and computers to those who currently do not have access to such devices.
  • Topic: Education, Infrastructure, Inequality, Digital Economy, Digitalization
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Matthias Krönke
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: Education is a powerful tool to fight poverty, enable upward socioeconomic mobility, and empower people to live healthier lives. But while the global adult literacy rate continues to increase, from 81% in 2000 to 86% in 2018 (World Bank, 2019), the challenge of access to quality education remains particularly severe in Africa. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, globally one out of five children aged 6-17 years were not in school; more than half of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, many African pupils attend schools that are inadequately equipped, creating a difficult learning environment. For example, more than half of the schools in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to basic drinking water, handwashing facilities, the Internet, or computers (United Nations, 2019). COVID-19 may exacerbate these challenges as pupils lose school time, unequal access to online learning heightens inequalities, and health care and social-safety costs and economic losses put pressure on limited resources. Africans are aware of education challenges. Across 34 African countries surveyed by Afrobarometer between late 2016 and late 2018, one in five respondents (21%) cited education as one of the most important problems their governments should address, placing it among citizens’ top five priorities (Coulibaly, Silwé, & Logan, 2018). Not surprisingly, younger people placed substantially greater emphasis on education than their elders. At a global level, the United Nations (UN) has highlighted the importance of quality education by including it in its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 4 calls for governments to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” To this end, the UN outlines specific targets to be achieved by 2030, including ensuring that “all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.” An important step toward this goal is that by 2030, all girls and boys should be able to “complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education” (United Nations, 2019). Many African governments have made important commitments to universal education. Of the 34 countries surveyed by Afrobarometer in 2016/2018, 33 have made school attendance compulsory (for periods ranging from five to 11 years), and 33 provide free primary education. (See Appendix Table A.2 for details.) Many governments also commit substantial portions of their yearly budgets to improving education. For example, in Côte d’Ivoire, eSwatini, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe, more than 25% of total government expenditures go to education (World Bank, 2020). Afrobarometer surveys point to slow but steady progress as fewer Africans go without formal education and more attend school beyond the primary grades. But in some countries, two-thirds of adults still have no formal schooling, and significant gender gaps continue to disadvantage girls and women. Overall, just a slim majority of Africans think their government is doing a good job on meeting educational needs. Factors that contribute to these evaluations include whether citizens find it easy to obtain school services and whether they think schools are transparent about their budgets and responsive to reports of teacher misconduct. More fundamentally, our analysis finds that more democratic countries are seen as better able to provide public education. Citizens are more likely to be satisfied with government performance on education if immediate avenues of transparency and accountability at the school level are embedded in a broader political system that encourages these qualities.
  • Topic: Education, Poverty, Democracy, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Robert Mattes
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Afrobarometer
  • Abstract: Economic destitution – whether measured as the frequency with which people go without basic necessities or as the proportion of people who live on less than $1.90 a day – declined steadily in Africa between 2005 and 2015. However, the findings of Afrobarometer Round 7 surveys, conducted in 34 African countries between late 2016 and late 2018, demonstrate that improvements in living standards have come to a halt and “lived poverty” is once again on the rise. To prevent squandering hard-won gains in Africans’ living standards, the data point to the necessity of a renewed commitment by citizens, governments, and international donors to defending democracy and expanding service-delivery infrastructure. Key findings Between 2005 and 2015, Afrobarometer surveys tracked a steady improvement in the living conditions of the average African. Measured as the frequency with which people go without a basket of basic necessities (food, clean water, health care, heating fuel, and cash income), “lived poverty” dropped in a sustained fashion over this period – a trend matched by consumption-based estimates of poverty by the World Bank. The most recent Afrobarometer surveys, however, suggest that Africa is in danger of squandering these gains in living standards. While the citizens of most African countries are still doing better than they were in 2005/2006, deprivation of basic necessities – captured by our Lived Poverty Index – has increased in about half of surveyed countries since 2015. The trend is similar for “severe lived poverty,” the extent to which people experience frequent shortages of basic necessities. Lived poverty varies widely across the continent. At one extreme, people rarely experience deprivation in Mauritius. At the other, the average person went without several basic necessities several times in the preceding year in Guinea and Gabon. In general, lived poverty is highest in Central and West Africa, and lowest in North Africa. Lived poverty also varies widely within societies. Reflecting the legacies of the “urban bias” of successive post-independence governments, rural residents continue to endure lived poverty far more frequently than those who live in suburbs and cities. A multilevel, multivariate regression analysis of more than 40,000 respondents across Africa reveals that people who live in urban areas, those who have higher levels of education, and those who have a job (especially in a middle-class occupation) are less likely to live in poverty, as are younger people and men. But besides personal characteristics, we locate even more important factors at the level of government and the state. First, Africans who live in countries with longer experiences of democratic government are less likely to live in poverty. Second, people who live in communities where the state has installed key development infrastructure such as paved roads, electricity grids, and piped-water systems are less likely to go without basic necessities. Indeed, the combined efforts of African governments and international donors in building development infrastructure, especially in rural areas, appears to have played a major role in bringing down levels of poverty – at least until recently.
  • Topic: Poverty, Infrastructure, Inequality, Local
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Katrina Forrester
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Toynbee Prize Foundation
  • Abstract: John Rawls was undoubtedly one of the most influential liberal political philosophers of the twentieth century. His most famous book, A Theory of Justice, was published in 1971. Prof Katrina Forrester, a historian of twentieth century political thought from Harvard University, tells the story of Rawls’s influence on liberal political philosophy in her recent book In the Shadow of Justice. Forrester shows how liberal egalitarianism—a set of ideas about justice, equality, obligation, and the state—became dominant, and traces its emergence from the political and ideological context of postwar Britain and the United States. In our conversation with Katrina Forrester we discussed Rawls’s creation of A Theory of Justice, how he responded to critiques of his theory, and how his work continues to shape our understanding of war and society up to the present day.
  • Topic: Political Theory, Inequality, Philosophy, Ideology, Justice, Liberalism
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Rossana Maria Marinho Albuquerque, Vanda Lopes Camblé
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: This paper is part of a research on gender violence experienced by women in São Tomé and Príncipe. The country has a very recent experience of democratic republic: it had its political independence in 1975 and became a multi-party democratic republic in the 1990s. It has been colonized by Portugal since the end of the 15th century and carries in its post-independence process the economic and social effects of a society that has only very recently been constituted autonomously. The data on Sao Tome inform that the country is strongly marked by poverty, dependence on external resources and a remarkable gender inequality. Gender violence is a present reality in Sao Tomean society and initiatives to confront and promote gender equality are also recent.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Poverty, Women, Inequality, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sao Tome and Principe
  • Author: Liz Hume, Megan Schleicher, Sahana Dharmapuri, Erin Cooper
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Our Secure Future
  • Abstract: This brief provides a summary of key recommendations from civil society on how to integrate gender into the GFS. It is critical that the GFA country and regional plans go beyond the individual empowerment of women in a society and aim to transform the societal power structures that fuel instability and inequality.
  • Topic: Security, Civil Society, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace, WPS
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Julie Sugarman, Melissa Lazarín
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Migration Policy Institute (MPI)
  • Abstract: As schools closed their physical classrooms in March 2020 due to COVID-19, educators across the United States reported that English Learners (ELs), immigrant students, and students in low-income families were particularly difficult to reach with online instruction. The pandemic and the sudden, forced transition to remote learning have brought into sharp relief the inequities that many of these students face in often under-resourced schools. Despite significant effort on the part of educators to support their students’ continued learning through Spring 2020, these efforts fell short for many ELs and students in immigrant families. Among the most notable barriers: a lack of access to digital devices and broadband, school–family communication gaps, parents’ limited capacity to support home learning, and inadequate remote learning resources and training for teachers on how to use them effectively. With the 2020–21 school year underway, and many schools continuing to operate partly or entirely remotely, this policy brief takes stock of the impact schools’ response to the pandemic is having on ELs and immigrant-background students. It identifies key challenges states and school districts must overcome, and outlines policy recommendations to help them ensure these students are adequately supported in this academic year and beyond. These include prioritizing ELs for in-person instruction when schools buildings begin to reopen, professional development on digital instruction that includes a focus on working with ELs, strategies for strengthening parental engagement, and funding mechanisms to shield high-needs students from the brunt of expected budget cuts. As the authors note, “depending on how states and districts adapt in the coming year, schools could emerge from this crisis having built stronger and more resilient systems on a foundation of equity for ELs and immigrant-background students.”
  • Topic: Education, Science and Technology, Immigration, Inequality, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Spencer Piston
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: Who participates in American democracy? In particular, is it those with high levels of resources who most often vote, protest, contact elected officials, and discuss politics with friends? How unequal is political participation? Political scientists Kay Lehman Schlozman, Henry E. Brady, and Sidney Verba have contributed important answers to these questions over the past few decades. In their first book, Voice and Equality (1995) these scholars traced associations between resource possession and political participation, finding extensive evidence of inequalities in political voice. In their second book, The Unheavenly Chorus (2012), the authors reiterated and updated the analyses of the first. The authors also extended Voice and Equality in a number of ways, primarily by examining organizational-level as well as individual-level participatory inequalities, and by assessing the likely efficacy of various reform strategies. This third volume, Unequal and Unrepresented, “distill[s] two substantial books into a relatively short one…” (p. ix), repeating the core themes of the two earlier volumes. The presentation of the book is slightly different, foregrounding substance (even) more than before by relegating methodological details to footnotes. Thus, the book is perhaps best suited to an undergraduate audience.
  • Topic: Politics, Inequality, Book Review, Political Science
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Carlos Gradín, Binbin Wu
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: We analyse income and expenditure distribution in China in a comparative perspective with India. These countries represent extreme cases in the relationship of inequality to both wellbeing indicators. Income is more highly concentrated than expenditure in India, especially at the top of the distribution. Both types of inequality are similar in China, although expenditure is more unequally distributed than income in urban areas. China has a much stronger correlation in individual ranks and levels between the two wellbeing distributions. As a result, expenditure inequality is higher in China than in India, but income inequality much lower. This results partially from differences in population composition, such as China being more urbanized and having smaller households, but mostly from differences in conditional income distributions, especially by attained education of the household head. We show that hybrid measures of wellbeing combining income and expenditure can be useful for such cross-country comparison.
  • Topic: Inequality, Income Inequality, Consumerism
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Rachel M. Gisselquist
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Across the world, we observe different experiences in terms of inequality between migrant and ‘host-country’ populations. What factors contribute to such variation? What policies and programmes facilitate ‘better’ economic integration? This paper, and the broader collection of studies that it frames, speaks to these questions through focused comparative consideration of two migrant populations (Vietnamese and Afghan) in four Western countries (Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US). It pays particular attention to involuntary migrants who fled conflict in their home regions beginning in the 1970s. The paper builds in particular on the literature on segmented assimilation theory, exploring new linkages with work on horizontal inequality, to highlight the role of five key sets of factors in such variation: governmental policies and institutions; labour market reception; existing co-ethnic communities; human capital and socioeconomic characteristics; and social cohesion or ‘groupness’.
  • Topic: Migration, Inequality, Displacement, Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United Kingdom, Europe, South Asia, Canada, Vietnam, Germany, North America, Southeast Asia, United States of America
  • Author: Tony Addison, Jukka Pirttilä, Finn Tarp
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: When measured in relative terms, global inequality has been decreasing. However, in absolute terms it has been increasing. What does this mean for analysing and addressing inequality? While it remains vital to continue reducing the global incidence of poverty, inequality has risen both in international and national agendas. Inequalities — in incomes, assets, and human development — matter for citizens as ethical and political issues. Large inequalities matter for economic development as they and can slow economic growth, generate economic crises, and destabilize political systems.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Inequality, Economic Growth
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Marcelo Neri
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: After three decades of persistently high inequality, Brazil has been experiencing a downward trend since 2001, accompanied by a rise in household incomes. These trends lasted until 2014 when a major reversal took place on both fronts.
  • Topic: Education, Inequality, Finance, Income Inequality
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Katrin Hansing, Bert Hoffman
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Few political transformations have attacked social inequalities more thoroughly than the 1959 Cuban Revolution. However, as the survey data in this paper shows, 60 years on, structural inequalities which echo the pre-revolutionary socio-ethnic hierarchies are returning. While official Cuban statistics are mute about social differences along racial lines, the authors were able to conduct a unique, nationwide survey which shows the contrary. If the revolutionary, state-run economy and radical social policies were the main social elevators for the formerly underprivileged classes in socialist Cuba, the economic crisis and depressed wages of the past decades have seriously undercut these achievements. Moreover, previously racialised migration patterns have produced highly unequal levels of access to family remittances, and the gradual opening of the private business sector in Cuba has largely disfavoured Afro-Cubans, due to their lack of access to pre-revolutionary property and remittances in the form of start-up capital. While social and racial inequalities have not yet reached the levels of other Latin American countries, behind the face of socialist continuity a profound restructuring of Cuban society is taking place.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Race, Social Stratification, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Tharcisio Leone
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper explores the variation in intergenerational educational mobility across the Brazilian states based on Markov transition matrixes and univariate econometric techniques. The analysis of the national household survey (PNAD-2014) confirms a strong variation in mobility among the 27 federative units in Brazil and demonstrates a significant correlation between mobility and income inequality. In this sense, this work presents empirical evidence for the existence of the "Great Gatsby curve" within a single country: states with greater income disparities present higher levels of persistence in educational levels across generations. Finally, I investigate one specific mechanism behind this correlation – namely, whether higher income inequality might lead to a lower investment in human capital among children from socially vulnerable households. The paper delivers robust and compelling results showing that children born into families where the parents have not completed primary education have a statistically significant reduction in their chance of completing the educational system if they live in states with a higher level of income inequality.
  • Topic: Education, Children, Inequality, Mobility
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America
  • Author: Semiray Kasoolu, Ricardo Hausmann, Tim O'Brien, Miguel Ajgel Santos
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Women in Jordan are excluded from labor market opportunities at among the highest rates in the world. Previous efforts to explain this outcome have focused on specific, isolated aspects of the problem and have not exploited available datasets to test across causal explanations. We develop a comprehensive framework to analyze the drivers of low female employment rates in Jordan and systematically test their validity, using micro-level data from Employment and Unemployment Surveys (2008-2018) and the Jordanian Labor Market Panel Survey (2010-2016). We find that the nature of low female inclusion in Jordan’s labor market varies significantly with educational attainment, and identify evidence for different factors affecting different educational groups. Among women with high school education or less, we observe extremely low participation levels and find the strongest evidence for this phenomenon tracing to traditional social norms and poor public transportation. On the higher end of the education spectrum – university graduates and above – we find that the problem is not one of participation, but rather of unemployment, which we attribute to a small and undiversified private sector that is unable to accommodate women’s needs for work and work-family balance.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Political Economy, Labor Issues, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Jordan
  • Author: Alice Evans
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Support for gender equality has risen, globally. Analyses of this trend focus on individual and/or country-level characteristics. But this overlooks sub-national variation. Citydwellers are more likely to support gender equality in education, employment, leadership, and leisure. Why is this? This paper investigates the causes of rural-urban differences through comparative, qualitative research. It centres on Cambodia, where the growth of rural garment factories enables us to test theories that female employment fosters support for gender equality: potentially closing rural-urban differences; or whether other important aspects of city-living accelerate support for gender equality. Drawing on this rural and urban fieldwork, the paper suggests why social change is faster in Cambodian cities. First, cities raise the opportunity costs of gender divisions of labour – given higher living costs and more economic opportunities for women. Second, cities increase exposure to alternatives. People living in more interconnected, heterogeneous, densely populated areas are more exposed to women demonstrating their equal competence in socially valued, masculine domains. Third, they have more avenues to collectively contest established practices. Association and exposure reinforce growing flexibility in gender divisions of labour. By investigating the causes of subnational variation, this paper advances a new theory of growing support for gender equality.
  • Topic: Economics, Gender Issues, Urbanization, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Cambodia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Gisela Robles Aguilar, Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Who are the world’s poor? This paper presents a new global profile of multidimensional poverty using three specifications of multidimensional poverty. The paper draws comparisons with the global monetary poverty profile and with the new World Bank measure of combined monetary and non-monetary poverty; discusses how global poverty differs by specification, the extent of multidimensionality, and presents a set of estimates of the disaggregated characteristics of global multidimensional poverty in 2015. We find the following: (i) at an aggregate level, the overall characteristics of global multidimensional poverty are similar to those of global monetary poverty at $1.90 per day; (ii) at a disaggregated level, we find that poverty in rural areas tends to be characterized by overlapping deprivations in education and access to decent infrastructure (water, sanitation, electricity, and housing) and counterintuitively, given the proximity, in principle, to better health care and economic opportunities, it is child mortality and malnutrition that is more frequently observed within urban poverty; and (iii) the extent of the multidimensionality of poverty differs substantially by region; moreover, some deprivations frequently overlap while others do not.
  • Topic: Poverty, World Bank, Inequality, Rural
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Scott Morris, Gailyn Portelance
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Under the World Bank’s 2018 capital agreement, borrowing countries are expected to gradually reduce their portfolios once a base income threshold—the Graduation Discussion Income (GDI)—is reached. However, the agreement also affirms the case for ongoing lending to these countries. One justification is tied to external value beyond the borrowing country’s borders (global public goods, or GPGs). Another is tied to building capacity within the borrowing country, which can mean a focus on sub-regions where poverty remains high and capacity weak. In this paper, we examine World Bank graduation policies and lending through the lens of China, which maintains a large portfolio of World Bank projects. China currently exceeds the GDI thresholds for IBRD borrowing at the national level, while income inequality within the country leaves many noncoastal provinces below the GDI per capita threshold. Aggregate and provincial-level analysis of World Bank lending in China shows that less than half of China’s portfolio comprises activities clearly linked to GPGs, while a slight majority of projects are based in provinces with per capita income below the GDI threshold. A substantial number of World Bank projects in China focus on climate change mitigation and transportation infrastructure construction, while a smaller number relate to capacity building. Overall, we find evidence that China’s borrowing is broadly consistent with the 2018 principles of institutional capacity strengthening and GPG-related engagement, although significant areas of bank engagement do not appear to fall within the parameters of these principles.
  • Topic: Poverty, Infrastructure, World Bank, Inequality
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Michael Pisa, John Polcari
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: en years ago, only 6 percent of the population in low-income and lower-middle-income countries had access to the internet. Today, nearly one in every three people there does. The rapid expansion of internet access across the globe is a welcome development, but it raises new policy challenges. And while there is broad agreement in the development community on the importance of getting digital policy “right,” too little attention has been paid to how policymakers in the developing world can best engage with the companies who dominate the digital landscape. As governments reassess their relationship with these companies, an increasing number are enacting policies that raise barriers to the cross-border flow of data and put the largely global and open nature of the internet at risk. In this paper, we review how internet use has evolved in the developing world over the last decade, with a focus on initiatives by big tech companies to reach the “Next Billion Users.” We then examine how concerns about data privacy, disinformation, and market concentration have manifested in lower-income countries and how policymakers have begun to respond. We close by considering ways the development community can support policymakers seeking to maximize the benefits of an open internet while minimizing its risks.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Inequality, Privacy, Internet, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles Kenny
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There is a lot we don’t know about what automation will mean for jobs in the future, including its impact (if any) on gender inequality. This note reviews evidence and forecasts on that question and makes four main points: Past automation has been (broadly) positive for women’s average quality of life, economic empowerment, and equality. Forecasts of the gendered impact of automation and AI going forward based on the current distribution of employment suggest considerable uncertainty and a gender inequality of impact that is marginal compared to the potential impact overall. The bigger risk—and/or opportunity—is likely to be in the combined impact of automation, policy, and social norms in changing the type of work that is seen as male or female. Minimizing any potential aggravating impact of automation and AI on inequalities in economic power in the future can best be achieved by maximizing economic equality today.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Employment, Inequality, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kimberly Ann Elliott
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: American policymakers have failed to adequately respond to concerns about globalization’s effects and the resulting backlash has taken an ugly turn in recent years. While globalization is only one of many factors contributing to economic dislocation, sluggish wage growth and inequality in the United States, foreigners, and developing countries in particular, are frequently the target of those who are frustrated at being left behind. Yet few realize that US trade policy effectively discriminates against poorer countries. In addition, provisions in trade agreements that tilt the playing field in favor of business interests over those of American consumers and workers also often undermine development priorities in partner countries. American policymakers should rethink the substance and process of trade policy and negotiations to spread the benefits more broadly, at home and abroad.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Inequality, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Author: Maria-Louise Clausen
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the Iraqi Security Forces’ success in the military defeat of Islamic State (IS) and reconquering of territory seized by IS in 2014, the Iraqi state faces substantial challenges. These challenges have been exacerbated by IS, but did not emerge with IS and will therefore also not disappear with the defeat of IS. This DIIS Report underlines the fragmentation and policization of the security sector as a concern. Although the continued threat from IS has a destabilizing impact on the Iraqi state, the report especially points to the role of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF: an umbrella term for more than 50 armed groups that mobilized against IS in 2014), the sustained focus on identity politics and the pressure on the Iraqi state as key issues for the rebuilding and stabilization of Iraq. The presence of PMFs in Iraq is a challenge to the Iraqi state’s monopoly of violence and the PMFs continue to commit violations with impunity. Moreover, the PMFs (Popular Mobilization Forces) are capitalizing on their role in the defeat of Islamic State to increase their political role. Finally, despite the recent movement towards issue-based politics, identity remains a vital element in Iraqi politics, as seen in the continued practice of power-sharing between Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis. This combined with the Iraqi population’s general lack of trust in the political system challenges reconstruction. Nonetheless, the report asserts that there is a window of opportunity for Iraq, that should be seized by the Iraqi elite and the international community to engage in the difficult process of reconstruction and reconciliation. The report provides a brief overview of some of the main challenges facing Iraq that must be dealt with if Iraq is to break the cycle of violence that has haunted the country for decades.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Poverty, Terrorism, Non State Actors, Inequality, Fragile States, Economy, Conflict, Violence, Peace, Justice
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Hans Lucht, Luca Raineri
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Though the four-by-fours with migrants still leave regularly for Libya, there’s little doubt that EU driven anti-migration efforts in the Agadez region of Niger has been a blow to the local cross-border economy. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS ■ EU interventions in Niger have had an unintended negative effect on the safety of migrants. It’s therefore important to maintain focus on rescue missions in the desert. ■ Europe must ensure that conflict and context sensitivity remain paramount as well as promoting alternative development opportunities and good governance. ■ National, local and traditional authorities should continue to avoid conflicts linked to natural resources, including gold, uranium, pasturelands and water, by promoting transparency and participatory decision-making.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Migration, Poverty, Border Control, European Union, Inequality, Fragile States, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Libya, North Africa, Niger
  • Author: Patrick Honohan
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Should central banks take more account of ethical issues, notably the impact of monetary policy actions on the distribution of income and wealth and on efforts to combat climate change, in the design and implementation of the wider monetary policy toolkit they have been using in the past decade? Although the scope to influence a range of objectives is more limited than is often supposed, and while it is vital to not derail monetary policy from its core purposes, central bank mandates justify paying more attention to such broad issues, especially if policy choices have a significant potential impact. Carefully managed steps in this direction could actually strengthen central bank independence while making some contribution to improving the effectiveness of public policy on these issues.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Monetary Policy, Inequality, Central Bank
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: Inequality and exclusion are among the most pressing political issues of our age. They are on the rise and the anger felt by citizens towards elites perceived to be out-of-touch constitutes a potent political force. Policy-makers and the public are clamoring for a set of policy options that can arrest and reverse this trend. The Pathfinders’ Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion seeks to identify practical and politically viable solutions to meet the targets on equitable and inclusive societies in the Sustainable Development Goals. Our goal is for national governments, intergovernmental bodies, multilateral organizations, and civil society groups to increase commitments and adopt solutions for equality and inclusion.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Inequality, Sustainable Development Goals, Multilateralism, Elites, Exclusion
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Paul von Chamier
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center on International Cooperation
  • Abstract: This discussion brief is a contribution to the Grand Challenge on Inequality and Exclusion, an initiative of the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies. Inequality and exclusion harm society in a number of ways, ranging from fraying trust in institutions and increasing volatility in politics, to causing economic damage, physical insecurity, and higher rates of crime and suicide. This brief lays out an array of tangible costs to show that inequality is damaging not only on normative, but also social and economic grounds. The areas of analysis include public health problems, such as anxiety, obesity, and unplanned teenage pregnancies; impacts on safety and security, including homicide rates and violent conflict; and the economic effects of GPD gaps caused by gender discrimination, vertical income inequality, and ethnicity-based discrimination. It also addresses the territorial dimensions of inequality and exclusion, and presents evidence that inequality is a force driving volatile politics, social unrest, and falling levels of trust in public institutions today.
  • Topic: Security, Inequality, Public Health, Exclusion , Civil Unrest
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Peter G. Johannessen
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Do voters use a candidate’s class as an electoral heuristic? And if so, how? Drawing on observational and experimental evidence from Brazil’s local elections (2004–2016), I provide evidence that voters use shared class to draw inferences about a candidate’s type: candidates from different classes receive similar overall levels of support, but receive disproportionate support from voters who share their class. The mechanisms driving this finding vary by a voter’s relative class position: upper-class voters use shared class to draw inferences about a candidate’s quality, trustworthiness, and distributive commitments, but lower-class voters only use shared class to draw inferences about a candidate’s trustworthiness and distributive commitments.
  • Topic: Politics, Poverty, Democracy, Inequality, Citizenship, Identities
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Anna Marie Burdzy, Lorraine Serrano, Megan Bastick
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This Policy Brief is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit, which comprises nine Tools and a series of Policy Briefs. The other Tools and Policy Briefs in this Toolkit focus on specific security and justice issues and providers, with more focused attention on what gender equality looks like and how to achieve it in particular sectors. It is intended that the Toolkit should be used as a whole, with readers moving between Tools and Policy Briefs to find more detail on aspects that interest them. This Policy Brief explains why integrating a gender perspective is important to the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) and provides guidance to States on doing so in national legislation, contracting and procurement policies, as well as certification, oversight and accountability frameworks for PMSCs. The Policy Brief: Outlines what PMSCs are and the role of States in their regulation; explains why a gender perspective is needed for effective regulation of PMSCs; and presents a range of priorities and entry points for States to integrate a gender perspective in regulation of PMSCs.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Law Enforcement, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Geneva, United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Padmashree Gehl Sampath, Walter Park
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University
  • Abstract: Market concentration in technology intensive industries has been a subject of interest to both scholars and policy analysts. This paper provides a first empirical assessment on how the patenting system contributes to market concentration and the generation of economic rents in three key sectors – pharmaceuticals, chemicals and ICTs. Using data for US multinationals and their foreign affiliates on the one hand, and locally registered private and public companies in Brazil, India and China, we conclude that the concentration of patent ownership is found significantly to relate to market concentration in the USA. In developing countries such as Brazil, India, and China, a strengthening of patent rights has contributed to greater returns for affiliates of U.S. companies but has not stimulated their R&D intensity. The affiliates of U.S. multinationals have enjoyed greater profitability relative to their local competitors in Brazil, India, and China. The paper draws implications for the setting of intellectual property policy and offers suggestions on the role of competition policy in curbing market concentration and related effects on inequality and access.
  • Topic: Markets, Inequality, Patents
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Nahla Valji, Pablo Castillo
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: This article highlights the continued stark absence of women from key policy spaces and sites of power and restates the case for the importance of gender parity as a fundamental building block of both gender equality and the overall effectiveness of institutions and outcomes. It does so through a focus on the area of international peace and security and the UN’s efforts, highlighting the way in which women’s inclusion is critical for efforts to secure sustainable peace. At a time when both the movement for gender equality and its backlash are ascendant political forces, and the proliferation of armed conflict is testing the credibility of multilateralism, it is significant that the UN is demanding transformation, starting with its own work force; and essential that this focus also include an emphatic insistence on the question of ‘where are the women’ in all areas of peace and security, serving as a model for other international and national actors.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Inequality, International Community
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Meagan Torello, Nahla Valji, Pablo Castillo, Tanya Ansahta Garnett, Kari Øygard, Lina Abirafeh, Catherine Tinker, Renata Koch Alvarenga, Rachel Clement, Lyric Thompson
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the second issue of our 20th volume, the critical diplomatic roles from grassroots advocacy to international negotiations are explored. Nahla Valji and Pablo Castillo open this issue, arguing for the importance, and ultimate necessity, of gender parity for the success of the United Nations’ peace and security efforts. This article discusses the great need for gender parity both within the UN system as well as within its advocacy on the ground. Following, Tanya Ansahta Garnett and Kari Øygard offer a case study on women’s roles in peacebuilding and civic engagement in post-conflict Liberia. They discuss whether or not women’s participation and representation is an effective strategy towards meaningful long-term change. Lina Abirafeh then examines the widespread issue of genderbased violence in the Arab region by outlining several case studies. Abirafeh then considers how it continues to withhold women’s political and legal progress in the region. Changing gears, Catherine Tinker and Renata Koch Alvarenga then survey the successes and continued drawbacks to gender equality in climate finance, offering a call to action for quicker implementation of a genderresponsive approach to mitigating the effects of climate change. Rachel Clement and Lyric Thompson conclude this issue by discussing the theory behind a feminist foreign policy and what it will take to move beyond the definition to a comprehensively feminist approach to foreign policy that is engrained in all sectors of diplomacy while also elevating traditionally unheard voices.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Inequality, Intimate Partner Violence
  • Political Geography: Arab Countries, Global Focus
  • Author: Lyric Thompson, Rachel Clement
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In 2014, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallström took the worldby storm when she launched the world’s first explicitly feminist foreign policy. The new policy would be a way of doing things differently in Sweden’s international affairs, organizing its approach to diplomacy, development, and defense under a 3 Rs framework of women’s rights, resources, and representation, the latter of which this journal issue seeks to explore.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Women, Inequality, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Europe, United Nations, Sweden, Global Focus
  • Author: Catherine Tinker, Renata Koch Alvarenga
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: The article concludes that all proposals for funding climate action through entities created under the UNFCCC should be screened according to the gender policies and plans of the climate funds, including the GEF and the GCF, and the results should be available publicly to provide transparency and build trust and accountability. Broader inclusion of women in decision-making and the requirement of evidence of a gender perspective prior to approving financing for climate change projects will contribute to the normative element of sustainable development and its implementation. The intersection of gender justice and climate justice in reducing the dangerous effects of climate change means allocating adequate financial resources to women leaders and projects generated and administered by women at international, regional, national and local levels, for large and small projects and programs alike.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Gender Issues, Treaties and Agreements, Women, Inequality, Climate Finance, Justice
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tanya Ansahta Garnett, Kari Øygard
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: Liberia presents a unique case study in the constant evolution of gender roles in post-conflict African States. Seizing upon the social transformation of the post-conflict environment, Liberian women built upon their peacebuilding roles in an attempt to leverage their newly expanded presence in the public sphere into broader professional and political representation. Though women’s renewed civic engagement and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf seemed to solidify women’s gains, Liberia remains a largely patriarchal society where women continue to be defined through an essentialist perspective – as wives, mothers, and peacemakers. Instead of fighting against this perception and the patriarchal status quo, women have largely played into this, understanding that it is an entry point by which they can justify their space in the decision-making process. Playing into this essentialism has been fruitful for several women’s peacebuilding organizations in the reconstruction era and has afforded them access to financing from international organizations eager to support their own simplified notions of gender mainstreaming. However, the inability of this approach to meaningfully shift the status quo is apparent when analyzing the struggles that professional women continue to face even as they attain an education and attempt to enter political life. This paper argues that while the essentialist approach to increasing women’s representation may appear to be an effective strategy initially, it continues to limit meaningful change in gender equality in the long-run. This paper concludes by making recommendations for policymakers and international organizations interested in furthering women’s political representation and participation in more meaningful and sustainable ways.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Marwa Daoudy
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Over the past few decades, a new narrative has emerged that seeks to link climate change with political and social unrest. This idea of a climate-conflict nexus is similar to the “water wars” scenario of the 1990s, in which the media and some scholars predicted that water scarcity would be the major driver of inter-state conflict in the twenty-first century. More recently, this climateconflict narrative has been applied to the Syrian case. According to this logic, climate change caused the 2006-2010 drought in Syria, the drought caused agricultural failure, agricultural failure caused poverty, and the resulting displacement and discontent culminated with the 2011 uprising. My forthcoming book, The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security (Cambridge University Press, spring 2020) questions this line of reasoning, arguing that government policies were at the heart of Syria’s vulnerabilities in the buildup to the uprising. Although global warming is real and international action is urgently needed, climate change was not what was at the forefront of the minds of Syrians in 2011. Instead, most people were focused on a moral ideal: the end of repression and injustice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Environment, Water, Food Security, Inequality, Syrian War, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: M. Yunus Sisman, Hakan Uslu
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: This paper explores how supply of the fast food restaurants is distributed in the US metropolitan areas by using spatial and count data models at the census-tract level. We empirically investigate the relationship between the number of fast food restaurants and socioeconomic status (i.e., race, gender, income inequality, educational attainment, and unemployment) in US cities. Findings suggest that income inequality stimulates the prevalence and the density of the fast food restaurants. Among the other neighbourhood and demographic characteristics, low income and black population dominated census-tracts are more attractive for fast food chains. Another key finding is the number of the fast food restaurants increases around the public and private schools in the census tracts.
  • Topic: Food, Inequality, Socioeconomics , Restaurants
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto
  • Abstract: The Reach Project is a research initiative based in the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. They examine the successful delivery of social services to those who are hardest to reach. This case study examines how the Ministry of Social Development in Palestine designed, implemented, and continues to refine the Palestinian National Cash Transfer Program (PNCTP) to specifically reach those who are hard to reach.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Poverty, Inequality, Social Services
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Sasiwimon W. Paweenawat
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)
  • Abstract: Using a two-stage estimation of matched worker-industry data from 2000 to 2011, this study investigates the impact of global value chain (GVC) integration on wages and the skill premium in 32 industries in Thailand, a country with recent heavy involvement in GVCs. This study employs foreign value added in both final and intermediate goods exports as a proxy for the degree of industry integration in GVCs and applies a panel fixed effects estimation on constructed panel data to investigate its relationship with wages. The main finding indicates that a higher level of industry integration with GVCs leads to higher wages and a higher skill premium, confirming the positive effect of GVC involvement on wages and the complementary effect of high demand for skilled workers in GVC-oriented industries in Thailand. Workers in industries with positions close to the end of the value chain (downstream position) will earn a higher wage than those working in the upstream position. These results have significant policy implications. The Thai government should not only attempt to increase industry involvement in GVCs overall, but also aim to lift industries to higher positions in the GVC to gain the most benefits for Thai workers and the country overall.
  • Topic: Labor Issues, Inequality, Wage Subsidies, Global Value Chains
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand