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The enduring idea that the rising tide of economic growth lifts all boats is no longer a universal truth. In the US, even before the Great Recession, the poorest were steadily losing ground. Between 2000 and 2012 the average disposable income of the bottom 10% in the US fell by 14%, underlined the OECD Secretary-General.
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The most effective policy tool kit to address high inequalities and to extend opportunities is one that combines education and job training measures, policies to boost job creation, and reforms to make the tax and benefit system and public services more efficient.
To tackle rising inequalities we need to reassess the way in which our economies grow. By placing inclusiveness at the heart of the growth debate we can open up opportunity so that every citizen can realise their potential, to contribute to, and benefit from, more equitable economic growth, said OECD Secretary-General.
Today, the OECD launched the Portuguese version of its Better Life Index in Brazil with football legend Pelé. The Portuguese version is the site’s 6th language edition, enabling the OECD to reach over 240 million Portuguese speakers across the globe.
The shares of top income recipients in total pre-tax income have increased in OECD countries in the past three decades, particularly in most of the English-speaking countries but also in some Nordic (from low levels) and Southern European countries. Today, the richest one percent receives between 7% of all pre-tax income in Denmark and the Netherlands up to almost 20% in the United States.
Japanese users of the Better Life Index (BLI) worry most about safety, Australians seek work-life balance, Latin Americans strive for better education, and Danes want to be happy – user feedback shows as the Index marks its third birthday.
Inequality – now at its highest level in decades in many countries – undermines economic growth and well-being, says a new OECD report. But policies to tackle the widening gap between rich and poor will only succeed if they also look beyond income and address better access to high-quality education, health care and public infrastructure, it adds.
The shares of the richest 1% in total pre-tax income have increased in most OECD countries over the past three decades. This rise is the result of the top 1% capturing a disproportionate share of overall income growth over that timeframe: up to 37% in Canada and 47% in the United States, according to new OECD analysis.
Encouraging more people to work later in life would help the Netherlands meet its growing challenges of a rapidly ageing population and rising social spending, according to a new OECD report.
OECD analysis shows that income inequality has been on the rise in most OECD countries since the 1980s, which often means growing exclusion in the labour market, lower intergenerational social mobility, and greater polarisation in educational and health outcomes.