The dramatic entry of the emerging market countries into the global economy has brought issues of inequality and opportunity front and center worldwide. Indeed, as the recent international financial crisis has highlighted, even in the most successful fast-growing economies in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia, global markets can bring, along with better opportunities, increased inequality and insecurity for individual citizens.
We focus here on Latin America, but similar questions are being raised wherever market reforms spurred by global integration have heightened concern about inequality. Because most countries in Latin America (and many elsewhere) are in the midst of quiet but profound political transitions to more democratic and more decentralized political systems, the inequality issue has political implications as well.
Homi Kharas delivered the keynote address at IFPRI’s annual staff retreat on September 12, 2018. He explored the evolving development agenda and its implications for policy research.