Inequality on the rise in most OECD countries

Inequality on the rise in most OECD countries

OECD, May 2011

A new study – Growing income inequality in OECD countries: What drives it and how can policy tackle it? – says that even in a situation of economic growth in OECD countries, earnings and income inequality is rising.  

In his presentation of the new study the OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría, pointed out that the increasing inequality between rich and poor is not inevitable.  

“We need better equality of opportunities and policy makers can make a real difference here. The answers lie in better labour market and social policies for both men and women, also by helping families combine work and family responsibilities and in investing more in children, and in tackling the monumental challenge of youth unemployment. We also need to invest in better tax and benefit policies and better skills and training strategies to ensure access to good jobs", he stated.  

The study reports that the Gini coefficient, on average, has increased from 0.28 to 0.31 in the OECD countries from the mid 1980s to late 2000s. The growth in inequality is particularly notable in Finland, Germany, Israel, New Zealand and Sweden.  

With respect to employment, the study points out that “the share of part-time employment in total employment increased from 11% in the mid-1990s to about 16% by the late 2000s."

You can access the full study here



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