Income inequality affects you whether you realize it or not

Uma Rani Amara, Senior Economist, Marianne Furrer, Research Officer

This is the second in a two-part series on income inequality produced by ILO’s Research Department. See the links below for more information about the research this blog post is based on.

Income inequality has a big impact on our lives, yet its effects aren’t always apparent. They’re often indirect, affecting us in ways that we may not even realize. Its consequences, however, are no less profound.

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What do we really know about income inequality?

Uma Rani Amara, Senior Economist, Marianne Furrer, Research Officer

If you watch the news or read the papers, chances are you have heard about income inequality. The issue is complex and polarizing. But what does income inequality really mean?

For anyone who’s still in the dark about income inequality, it’s essentially the uneven way in which income is distributed within a population. The rich keep getting richer but everyone else’s income stays the same or decreases.

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The vital role of social protection in the fight against inequality

Winnie Byanyima

Winnie Byanyima is the Executive Director of Oxfam International. ©Oxfam International

When I talk about schools and hospitals in the fight against poverty and inequality, people generally nod in agreement. They may have different ideas about how they should be run and paid for, but we agree on the power of health and the power of education.

But when we talk about social protection there is much greater confusion:  confusion created by competing political ideologies, differing economic demands, by misunderstanding about what it is, what it can do and who should be driving it.

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