Inequalities in a globalized economy
The current mainstream economic debate on inequalities is determined mainly by the situation in individual high-income economies. We also talk about the problem in the context of crisis of a traditional welfare state, bearing in mind original inefficiencies, consequences of population aging, and consequences of globalization – pointed dr Marek Dabrowski, who appeared as a keynote speaker of the conference ‘Dialogue on Inequalities’ that took place between 21 and 22 January 2015 in Istanbul. The event, organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), addressed the problem of inequality from different perspectives. The speakers tackled issues such as global and regional perspectives on inequalities, inequalities in Southeast Europe and the Former USSR, unpacking inequalities in the region (“inequality corners”), ways of strengthening the process of applying political and economic analyses results to policies, and how to use programming in addressing inequalities.
As dr Dabrowski proved, international division of labor for high- and upper-middle income economies results in pushing many middle-income jobs in manufacturing and services towards emerging-market economies, imposing limits on wage increase in tradable goods and services sectors, as well as creating the so-called ‘Headquarter’ effect of multinational corporations. He emphasized that inequalities do not concern only outcomes, but opportunities (in terms of social and cultural factors, education, health) as well. Moreover, dr Dabrowski summarized the situation in Europe and the CIS countries, outlining the main forthcoming challenges on the way to reducing inequalities, such as slower growth, increasing conflict in Ukraine, political and economic instabilities or slowdown in economic growth.
During the conference, a report “Poverty, Inequality and Vulnerability in the Transition and Developing Economies of Europe and Central Asia” was also presented. The publication uses the World Bank’s POVCALNET global poverty database to assess poverty and inequality trends in the region. As UNDP Senior Strategic Advisor in the Istanbul Regional Hub, Ben Slay, said “the post-socialist history of these countries left relatively equal distributions of income, relatively broad access to social services, and relatively small gender disparities. (…) There are disturbing indications that these advantages are being lost – and that problems of inequality and vulnerability are converging with those of developing countries in other regions”.
The event has been extensively covered by the media - you can find the details here. We also encourage you to read Marek Dabrowski's full presentation below.