WIDERAngle

Expert commentary from our network

Global inequality may be falling, but the gap between haves and have-nots is growing

In one of the most unequal countries in the world, South Africa, the poorest 40% have annual incomes of less than US$1,000 (£727) per person. The comparable incomes for the richest 10% are more than US$39,000 per person – nearly 40 times higher than those of the bottom 40%. Those numbers, which are based on data from 2017, are actually something of an improvement on 2008, when the multiple was 50 times. But the gap in income between these groups grew by more than US$10,000 per...

Afghanistan 2021: A quickly made long tragedy

The tragedy for the Afghan people of the Taliban re-taking control of the country in August 2021 is the denouement of a process 20 years in the making. The sudden collapse of the Afghan government and the national security forces over the course of a few days is not a “surprise” to anyone, but was a widely expected outcome by many observers (including the CIA). There are many many political and humanitarian aspects of the present crisis, but I want to just present my...

Unlocking the mystery of domestic savings

The socioeconomic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore discussions on domestic resource mobilization (hereafter DRM). Raising domestic taxes has monopolized policy attention, however, given the attendant and ensuing needs in developing countries, raising savings rates is equally important. Domestic savings provide the necessary investible resources needed for long-run and sustained economic growth. Investments and savings go hand-in-hand Research has found...

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COVID-19
Blog
Wasted talent – How COVID-19’s effect on the poor could make all of society poorer

The opening keynote of the recent WIDER Development Conference, COVID-19 and development – effects and new realities for the Global South , was given by Oriana Bandiera , Sir Anthony Atkinson Professor of Economics at the London School of Econo...

COVID-19 Poverty Human capital
Blog
Social protection at a crossroad

How can we ensure a resilient and inclusive recovery from COVID-19? How can we hold on to the target of eradicating poverty and hunger by 2030, with the pandemic still ongoing?...

COVID-19 Social assistance Social protection
Blog
Helping the poor to survive lockdown

The Hrishipara Daily Diaries Project has been tracking the daily spending of 60 poor households in rural Bangladesh for the last six years...

COVID-19 Lockdown Livelihoods
Blog
Why countries best placed to handle the pandemic appear to have fared the worst

During the first year of the pandemic, it was wealthier countries, with their comparatively stronger health systems, civil services, legal systems and other public services, that suffered the highest rates of COVID-19...

COVID-19 Pandemic State
Blog
COVID-19 lays bare Cape Town’s social divide, deepens underlying inequalities

The COVID-19 pandemic delivered a devastating economic shock to livelihoods across the world. In Cape Town, it has been toughest on those who had just found a way to keep their heads above water, living on the fringes of urban society...

South Africa Urban COVID-19
Blog
Ghana's lockdown hit vulnerable workers hard: What needs to happen next time

Coronavirus lockdowns brought the world to a standstill. Rules on hygiene and social distancing have reshaped daily life, schools and businesses had been closed, and gatherings banned...

COVID-19 Lockdown Employment
Blog
Ecuador’s social protection system failed during the pandemic: It needs a rethink

Household incomes in Ecuador were badly hit by the pandemic, despite the government’s emergency grant to families...

COVID-19 Microsimulation Poverty
Blog
What does COVID-19 mean for Africa?: Challenges, but also opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an exceptional social and economic crisis all over the world, with Africa among the hardest-hit regions. What are the most acute challenges facing the continent during and after the pandemic?...

COVID-19 Africa Africa's Economic Development
Research Brief
The role of tax and benefit policies during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador January 2021

What was the impact on earnings of the economic crisis caused by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ecuador? To what extent did social assistance programmes compensate household income losses?...

COVID-19 Microsimulation Poverty
Blog
Headline data suggests low-income states are coping better with the pandemic than high-income states. But is this true?

States with fragile state health systems have been commended for effective responses to the COVID-19 pandemic...

COVID-19 Capable states State capacity
Blog
The world needs a people’s vaccine

The world needs a people’s vaccine for COVID-19 — one provided universally, and accessible to the entire world population. A patent-protected vaccine could ultimately exclude many people from being vaccinated and protected...

COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine
Blog
Decent work and COVID-19 – it’s time for a just deal for all workers

Seven months into the unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, we already see significant effects on employment and earnings worldwide...

Decent Work Informality COVID-19
Blog
Graduating in the shadow of the pandemic: The impact of COVID-19 on the transition of young Mozambicans from school to work

Since appearing in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world into an unprecedented health and socioeconomic crisis...

School-to-Work Labour market Education
Blog
Do we have the right balance?: Aggregate population health and COVID-19
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The world has been shaken by unprecedented efforts in the name of public health. But, efforts to arrest COVID-19 were not initially formulated with a comprehensive view of the public health in mind ...

COVID-19 Global health Population health
Blog
Five ways coronavirus is deepening global inequality

Before coronavirus, inequality was already increasing in many parts of the developing world . But the pandemic is going to greatly heighten existing economic and social inequalities...

COVID-19 Inequality Decent Work
Blog
Beyond lockdown: rebuilding the social contract

Continued lockdown measures are straining the social contract between citizens and governments...

Social unrest Lockdown Sub-Saharan Africa
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