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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Want to tackle inequality? Shore up collective bargaining


Susan Hayter, Senior Specialist, Labour Relations and Collective Bargaining

From the forums in Davos to the protests taking place on the streets: inequality is the defining challenge of our time. It hurts economic growth, denies workers their fair share and robs families of their hopes for a better future. The sources are well known.

As a new volume just released by the ILO shows, they include a lack of job opportunities, low wages, and inadequate social policies. They set off a domino effect, which harms the well-being of workers and their families today while closing the door to education and opportunities for generations tomorrow. Continue reading