Addressing growing inequality through inclusive growth: A conversation with OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría
Income inequality in OECD countries is at its highest level in 50 years: The average income of the top 10 percent of earners is nearly ten times that of the poorest 10 percent across the OECD—up seven times from 25 years ago. At the very top, gains have been even more substantial, with the top 1 percent accounting for nearly half of total pre-tax income growth in the U.S. between 1975 and 2007, a third of all growth in Canada, and around fifth of total growth in Australia and the United Kingdom. The economic crisis only added urgency to the need to address inequality. Emerging economies and developing countries are facing the same challenge: Though sustained growth has lifted millions of people out of absolute poverty, those benefits have not been evenly distributed, leading to higher levels of income inequality.
Growing and persistently high-levels of inequality have consequently emerged as a pressing and pervasive concern in both rich and poor countries. Tackling inequality in incomes as well as health outcomes, education and well-being, requires breaking down the barriers to inclusive growth and reaching new frontiers in policymaking and implementation.
After delivering keynote remarks, Secretary-General Gurría joined a conversation moderated by Kemal Derviş, vice president and director of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings.
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