The IMF’s Fiscal Monitor 2017 is launched during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank where the broader economic mood is positive with messages welcoming a global economic recovery. It is labelled “Tackling inequalities”. It shows that since the late 1980ies global inequality has declined while inequalities within countries have increased for half countries in the world. It unpacks 3 policy debates — progressive taxation, universal basic income (UBI) and public spending in health and education — without making explicit recommendations to policy makers. As UBI remains a hotly debated topic (that Horizons has summarized for you) and as the conversation around our house is growing on universal child grant, the report is worth browsing through.
In “The Red Cross presses Silicon Valley to fight cyberwarfare”, FastCompany interviews ICRC President Peter Maurer who met big techs to discuss responsibility and possible game changing role in humanitarian contexts. Arguing that governments with cyberwarfare capacities are not interested in regulation, he points to areas of convergence between the private sector and humanitarian organizations and suggests that collaborating with big techs could be a way to shape necessary norms and standards. Watch that space.
My graph this week is from Alvaredo and al “Measuring Inequality in the Middle East, 1990-2016: The World’s Most Unequal Region?” It combines household surveys, income tax data, wealth rankings and national accounts to estimate income concentration for 1990-2016 in Middle East countries. It then compares results with other parts of the world to show that the top income share in the Middle East is higher than in Western Europe, USA, Brazil and South Africa.
One week after unveiling the “Human capital project” aiming to create a human capital index for each country with the help of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (yes, same crowd who worked on the Gates Foundation SDG report), World Bank Group Jim Kim announces: “Soon, we’ll publish The Changing Wealth of Nations, and for the first time, we’re looking at human capital as part of the overall wealth of nations. It turns out that more than 65 percent of the wealth of all nations in the world is in human capital.”