The relevance of equity assessment and the perception of inequality as a vital problem in political, social and economic life has increased after the third wave of the global crisis. This situation, however, is not original: it is curious to recall that already at the beginning of the XXI century the perception that economic inequality was increasing within DCs as well as between them and LDCs was high. The same applies for gender and inter-generational inequality. This is why in 2000 the UN launched the ‘Millennium Development Goals’, a strategy for fighting poverty and inequality. The strategy is split in 8 Goals and 18 Targets: Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger; Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education; Goal 3 Promote gender equality & empower women; Goal 4 Reduce child mortality; Goal 5 Improve maternal health; Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria & other diseases; Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability; Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development. Afterwards conflicts, international shocks, booming globalization and the consequent development of emerging powers, encouraged a different attitude towards this issue. In particular the main forums of the global governance were less concerned with inequality trends. Several economic indicators seemed to support this view (Sala-i-Martin, 2002). Among them: (A) global trade (and what's more South-South trade), travel and communications have boomed since 1970; (B) in the period 1970-1998 the one-dollar-a-day poverty rate has fallen from 20% to 5%, while the two-dollar-a-day rate has fallen from 44% to 18%; (C) in the same period the number of poor people has fallen by between 300 million and 500 million. The mainstream view goes after the ‘conventional wisdom’ according to which insecurity is a central tenet of the market system: “rewards and punishments beget efficiency, so take away or mitigate the punishments and the system is compromised ... the threat of unemployment is necessary to maintain incentives to high productivity...” (Galbraith, 1969). This brings about a radical view of economic incentives. No matter what street protesters and the ‘do-gooders’ in the UN and EU were doing, globalisation was always thought good for the poor, the unemployed and the middle-class. In this respect our references are: (a) the s.c. ‘Washington consensus’ view; (b) the Davos World Economic Forum, especially in the 1971-2004 editions; (c) the mainstream approach in economic theory. The impact of the global crisis is challenging this view, fostering new interest for inequality in policy makers, citizens and social scientists. However, our judgement of inequality is extremely diverse for at least four reasons. Economies are going through deep transformations that are affected by outsourcing/unboundling and networks/value chains restructuring. Economic and social classes are at the same time more and more fragmented, but less and less identified by a specifics role in economic systems (and society in general). A range of income sources is available for the average worker, but these sources are not anymore necessarily linked to the factors of production the individual is endowed with. Welfare perspectives vary according to the position held by the single agent in the household, in the society and in the networks in which she/he lives. Different social and economic models of capitalism score rather different final results. Therefore, different dimensions of inequality are altogether relevant in spite of many predictions: (i) intra and inter generations; (ii) within and between genders; (iii) intra and inter countries (especially DCs, Emerging Powers, LDCs); (iv) within and between local economic systems; (v) within and between employment categories (e.g., unions, professional associations); (vi) within and between social groups (e.g., ethnic, religious groups); (vii) income vs. wealth inequality. In a recent essay published in Boike (2011), Antonelli (2011b)...

Public policies for development in an era of economic emergencies and rising inequality

ANTONELLI, GILBERTO
2012

Abstract

The relevance of equity assessment and the perception of inequality as a vital problem in political, social and economic life has increased after the third wave of the global crisis. This situation, however, is not original: it is curious to recall that already at the beginning of the XXI century the perception that economic inequality was increasing within DCs as well as between them and LDCs was high. The same applies for gender and inter-generational inequality. This is why in 2000 the UN launched the ‘Millennium Development Goals’, a strategy for fighting poverty and inequality. The strategy is split in 8 Goals and 18 Targets: Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty & hunger; Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education; Goal 3 Promote gender equality & empower women; Goal 4 Reduce child mortality; Goal 5 Improve maternal health; Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria & other diseases; Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability; Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development. Afterwards conflicts, international shocks, booming globalization and the consequent development of emerging powers, encouraged a different attitude towards this issue. In particular the main forums of the global governance were less concerned with inequality trends. Several economic indicators seemed to support this view (Sala-i-Martin, 2002). Among them: (A) global trade (and what's more South-South trade), travel and communications have boomed since 1970; (B) in the period 1970-1998 the one-dollar-a-day poverty rate has fallen from 20% to 5%, while the two-dollar-a-day rate has fallen from 44% to 18%; (C) in the same period the number of poor people has fallen by between 300 million and 500 million. The mainstream view goes after the ‘conventional wisdom’ according to which insecurity is a central tenet of the market system: “rewards and punishments beget efficiency, so take away or mitigate the punishments and the system is compromised ... the threat of unemployment is necessary to maintain incentives to high productivity...” (Galbraith, 1969). This brings about a radical view of economic incentives. No matter what street protesters and the ‘do-gooders’ in the UN and EU were doing, globalisation was always thought good for the poor, the unemployed and the middle-class. In this respect our references are: (a) the s.c. ‘Washington consensus’ view; (b) the Davos World Economic Forum, especially in the 1971-2004 editions; (c) the mainstream approach in economic theory. The impact of the global crisis is challenging this view, fostering new interest for inequality in policy makers, citizens and social scientists. However, our judgement of inequality is extremely diverse for at least four reasons. Economies are going through deep transformations that are affected by outsourcing/unboundling and networks/value chains restructuring. Economic and social classes are at the same time more and more fragmented, but less and less identified by a specifics role in economic systems (and society in general). A range of income sources is available for the average worker, but these sources are not anymore necessarily linked to the factors of production the individual is endowed with. Welfare perspectives vary according to the position held by the single agent in the household, in the society and in the networks in which she/he lives. Different social and economic models of capitalism score rather different final results. Therefore, different dimensions of inequality are altogether relevant in spite of many predictions: (i) intra and inter generations; (ii) within and between genders; (iii) intra and inter countries (especially DCs, Emerging Powers, LDCs); (iv) within and between local economic systems; (v) within and between employment categories (e.g., unions, professional associations); (vi) within and between social groups (e.g., ethnic, religious groups); (vii) income vs. wealth inequality. In a recent essay published in Boike (2011), Antonelli (2011b)...
Per una fondazione teorica delle politiche di sviluppo economico delle aree montane. Unioni territoriali tra fallimenti di mercato e fallimenti sistemici
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G. Antonelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/121502
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