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Posts Tagged ‘Inequality’

Technology, jobs, and the future of work

Posted by hkarner - 27. Mai 2017

By James Manyika, McKinsey Global Institute, May 2017

Automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work. Understanding these shifts can help policy makers, business leaders, and workers move forward.

The world of work is in a state of flux, which is causing considerable anxiety—and with good reason. There is growing polarization of labor-market opportunities between high- and low-skill jobs, unemployment and underemployment especially among young people, stagnating incomes for a large proportion of households, and income inequality. Migration and its effects on jobs has become a sensitive political issue in many advanced economies. And from Mumbai to Manchester, public debate rages about the future of work and whether there will be enough jobs to gainfully employ everyone.

The development of automation enabled by technologies including robotics and artificial intelligence brings the promise of higher productivity (and with productivity, economic growth), increased efficiencies, safety, and convenience. But these technologies also raise difficult questions about the broader impact of automation on jobs, skills, wages, and the nature of work itself. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Robots won’t just take our jobs – they’ll make the rich even richer

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2017

Date: 24-04-2017
Source: The Guardian

Robotics and artificial intelligence will continue to improve – but without political change such as a tax, the outcome will range from bad to apocalyptic

Instead of making it possible to create more wealth with less labor, automation might make it possible to create more wealth without labor.

Should robots pay taxes?

It may sound strange, but a number of prominent people have been asking this question lately. As fears about the impact of automation grow, calls for a “robot tax” are gaining momentum. Earlier this month, the European parliament considered one for the EU. Benoît Hamon, the French Socialist party presidential candidate who is often described as his country’s Bernie Sanders, has put a robot tax in his platform. Even Bill Gates recently endorsed the idea. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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IWF entdeckt Schattenseiten der Globalisierung

Posted by hkarner - 20. April 2017

András Szigetvari aus Washington, 20. April 2017, 07:15 derstandard.at

Der Streit um Globalisierung, Freihandel und Ungleichheit dominiert Wahlkämpfe in Europa und den USA. Nun springt der Währungsfonds auf das Thema auf

Washington – Von ihrem kleinen Büro an der 19th Street in Washington, D.C., hat Mitali Das in den vergangenen Monaten die Revolution vorbereitet. Die Ökonomin arbeitet für den Internationalen Währungsfonds (IWF). Sie sammelte Daten aus dutzenden Ländern. Ein Team unter ihrer Leitung führte die Kalkulationen durch, jedes Ergebnis wurde penibel nachgeprüft. Fehler durften nicht passieren, dafür war die Materie zu heikel. In einer soeben publizierten Studie ist Mitali Das der Frage nachgegangen, wie sich globaler Handel und technischer Fortschritt auf Einkommen und Einkommensverteilung ausgewirkt haben.

Wo der IWF in dieser Frage ideologisch steht, ist klar: Jahrzehntelang haben die Experten des Fonds gepredigt, dass Liberalisierung und Marktöffnung der beste Weg zu mehr Wohlstand für alle sind. Ungleichheit und Verteilungsfragen spielten in diesen Überlegungen keine Rolle. Die Arbeiten von Das, einer indischstämmigen ehemaligen Professorin an der Columbia-Universität, haben das verändert.

Lohnquote

Die Ökonomin und ihre Kollegen haben sich angesehen, wie sich der Anteil der Arbeitseinkommen im Verhältnis zur Wirtschaftsleistung (BIP) entwickelt hat. Unter die Lupe genommen wurde die Entwicklung dieser Lohnquote in 50 Ländern seit 1991. Das Ergebnis: Weltweit erhalten Arbeiter und Angestellte heute in der Mehrzahl der Länder einen geringeren Teil vom erwirtschafteten Wohlstand als zu Beginn der 1990er-Jahre. Auf Kapitalerträge dagegen entfällt ein größerer Teil des Kuchens. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Too Late to Compensate Free Trade’s Losers

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2017

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The Insecurity of Inequality

Posted by hkarner - 12. April 2017

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Drivers of Declining Labor Share of Income

Posted by hkarner - 11. April 2017

Posted on by iMFdirect

By Mai Chi Dao, Mitali Das, Zsoka Koczan, and Weicheng Lian

After being largely stable in many countries for decades, the share of national income paid to workers has been falling since the 1980s. Chapter 3 of the April 2017 World Economic Outlook finds that this trend is driven by rapid progress in technology and global integration.

IMF.WEOChap3.Apr2017_chart1

Labor’s share of income declines when wages grow more slowly than productivity, or the amount of output per hour of work. The result is that a growing fraction of productivity gains has been going to capital. And since capital tends to be concentrated in the upper ends of the income distribution, falling labor income shares are likely to raise income inequality.IMF.WEOChap3.Apr2017_chart2.jpg

Trending down

In advanced economies, labor income shares began trending down in the 1980s. They reached their lowest level of the past half century just prior to the global financial crisis of 2008, and have not recovered materially since. Labor income shares now are almost 4 percentage points lower than they were in 1970.

Despite more limited data, labor shares have also declined in emerging market and developing economies since the early 1990s. This is especially the case for the larger economies in this group. In China, for example, despite impressive gains in poverty reduction over the past two decades, labor shares still fell by almost 3 percentage points.

Indeed, as growth remains subpar in many countries, an increasing recognition that the gains from growth have not been broadly shared has strengthened a backlash against economic integration and bolstered support in favor of inward-looking policies. This is especially the case in several advanced economies.

Our study takes an in-depth look at the symptoms and drivers of this downward trend in labor share of income.

Technology: a key driver in advanced economies Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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RICH AMERICANS LIVE 15 YEARS LONGER THAN POOR

Posted by hkarner - 9. April 2017

Date: 08-04-2017
Source: NewsWeek

Wealth and health are intrinsically linked in the United States, with rich Americans living between 10 to 15 years longer than their poor counterparts, a study has found.

A series of five papers published in the medical journal The Lancet found that a widening income gap, structural racism and mass incarceration are fueling growing health inequalities.

“The USA is one of the richest countries in the world, but that reality means very little for most people because so much of that wealth is controlled by a tiny sliver of Americans,” U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders wrote in an article introducing the research.

Sanders called for reforms to the healthcare system, which he described as “the most expensive, bureaucratic, wasteful, and ineffective” in the world. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The new political divide, and a plan to close it

Posted by hkarner - 26. März 2017

Date: 23-03-2017
Source: The Economist

David Goodhart, a “post-liberal”, seeks to accommodate the decent elements of identity-based populism

The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics. By David Goodhart. Hurst; 278 pages; $24.95 and £20.

WHY did Britain vote to leave the European Union? Why did America elect Donald Trump? Why are populists on the rise all over Europe? David Goodhart, founding editor of Prospect magazine and now a proud “post-liberal”, has found a culprit. Populism, he argues in his new book, is an understandable reaction to liberal overreach.

Focusing on Britain, he identifies a new divide in Western societies, pitting a dominant minority of people from “anywhere” against a majority from “somewhere”. The first group, says Mr Goodhart, holds “achieved” identities based on educational and professional success. Anywheres value social and geographical mobility. The second group is characterised by identities rooted in a place, and its members value family, authority and nationality.

Whereas Anywheres, whose portable identities are well-suited to the global economy, have largely benefited from cultural and economic openness in the West, he argues, the Somewheres have been left behind—economically, but mainly in terms of respect for the things they hold dear. The Anywheres look down on them, provoking a backlash. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Robotization Without Taxation?

Posted by hkarner - 23. März 2017

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With the World’s Most Billionaires, China Has Its Own Populism Problem

Posted by hkarner - 22. März 2017

Date: 21-03-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

After several years of decline, China’s economic inequality is rising again. That could spell trouble for Western firms and for relations with the U.S. and Donald Trump

Modern China is the greatest “get rich” story of the past generation—maybe ever. But after a decade of growth lifting all boats, official data contain a dispiriting revelation: Income inequality is again on the rise.

A little-noticed government press release citing the backslide comes as the just-released Hurun Global Rich List shows China with the most billionaires for the second year in a row, edging out the U.S.

Slower broad-based income growth—and increasing numbers of isolated, angry Chinese men in the countryside—is problematic. And as in the U.S., income disparity boosts the chances of political upheaval somewhere down the line. These topics are well known in Beijing, where the Communist Party leadership prizes social stability and fair distribution of wealth as linchpins of its hold on power.

The government’s official inequality measure is the Gini coefficient, a zero-to-one measure of population income dispersion used by the World Bank and others. After declining by an average of over 0.4 percentage point a year from 2009 to 2015, official figures showed China’s Gini coefficient rising by 0.3 percentage point last year.

Other independent measures of inequality have also rebounded. Regional disparities began widening in 2015, in part due to slowing growth in poor northern and western industrial provinces, according to a recent paper from Andrew Batson, China research director at Gavekal Dragonomics. China’s statistics bureau cited slowing income growth for some rural agricultural workers as one reason for the uptick. So-called bare branches, low-income rural men with poor professional and marital prospects, have become a persistent topic of conversation in Chinese society.

While the shift is nascent, there are reasons to think it might continue. The massive transfer of wealth triggered by the privatization of the housing stock in the late 1990s was a huge boon to poor inland provinces, but it has now largely run its course.

China’s official inequality measure rose last year. Here, a farmer works in east China’s Shandong province.

And despite large helpings of rhetoric on reform from top leadership, there is little indication that the market power of big state firms in sectors such as telecommunications will be curtailed to make room for more efficient, job-creating privately run firms.

For firms eyeing China, the implications are profound: Slower broad-based income growth could weaken sales prospects for basic consumer goods. Companies such as Yum China or Coca-Cola, already under pressure from regulatory scrutiny and local competition, could see a slower lift from core consumers.

More rich people in China might seem to present an opportunity, particularly in luxury goods and travel, real estate, and financial services. Firms such as Apple may be less tempted to pursue a pricing strategy based on volume, rather than luxury prestige.

Yet the past few years under President Xi Jinping have showed an inclination to punish conspicuous consumption. Rising inequality data may in fact embolden Beijing to keep up the pressure. Politically, corruption crackdowns to save face with the populace may become more frequent and severe. And nationalism, the old fallback of politicians bereft of other solutions to help disaffected citizens, will become more strident and potent.

That latter could make for choppy waters in the years to come, on both sides of the Pacific—and in the shipping lanes in between.

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