WIDER Annual Lecture 9 - The World is not Flat

Inequality and Injustice in our Global Economy

WIDER Annual Lecture 9 - The World is not Flat: Inequality and Injustice in our Global Economy

The 2005 Annual Lecture—the ninth in the series—was given at the Marina Congress Center in Helsinki on 26 October 2005 by Nancy Birdsall, President of the Center for Global Development in Washington.

The title of the lecture is ‘The World is not Flat: Inequality and Injustice in our Global Economy’. The reference to ‘flatness’ alludes to the more level playing field due to globalization that has enabled China, India, and others to start catching up with the living standards of rich countries. But as Birdsall points out, the world is far from flat. In particular, unequal opportunities exist and persist both at the level of households within countries and at the level of nations in a global context; indeed the same forces of globalization are likely to exacerbate these inequalities.

Nancy Birdsall

Nancy Birdsall is the founding President of the Center for Global Development. Prior to launching the center, Birdsall served for three years as Senior Associate and Director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her work at Carnegie focused on issues of globalization and inequality, as well as on the reform of the international financial institutions. From 1993 to 1998 as Executive Vice-President of the Inter-American Development Bank, the largest of the regional development banks, she oversaw a US$30 billion public and  private  loan  portfolio. Before joining the Inter-American Development Bank, she spent 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank, most recently as Director of the Policy Research Department.