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Tackling inequality:
Looking for Leverage
in the Global North
David Sogge
‘Inequality and the Post-2015 Agenda’ Workshop
24 June 2014
European Association of Development Research and
Training Institutes (EADI) General Conference, Bonn
Norway’s white paper 2013:
Sharing for prosperity.
Promoting democracy, fair distribution and
growth in development policy
• job creation
• human rights & democracy
• Active distributive policies
 public services & taxes
 safety nets
• fight against illicit financial
flows and tax havens.
Norway’s ‘theory of change’ ?
“…there is no contradiction between growth and equity. This recognition
was partly based on the experience of the Nordic countries where greater
equality bolsters rather than impedes long-term economic growth.”
“There is a close link between the distribution of economic goods and the
distribution of political power. … A diverse civil society is an important
supplement to elected bodies. Civil society and the independent media
can act as interest groups, watchdogs and agents of change.”
“Creating decent jobs is the best way of lifting people out of poverty and
ensuring fair distribution of social goods."
OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review
Norway [ published November 2013 ]
• “progressive”, “coherent”, “clearly stated
links to poverty reduction”
• “Norway punches above its weight in taking
global initiatives…”
• “Its main constraint however appears to be
capacity”
• Remedy: “scale up partnerships with like-
minded donors”
Norway punches above its weight,
but is it merely shadow-boxing ?
Government Pension Fund -- the ‘oil fund’ -- goes
mainly into North Atlantic financial circuits, seldom
lower-income places.
“The total Norwegian contribution to inequality in the
world is far larger than aid policy to equality.”
- Øvind Eggen, by International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI),
Feasibility of redistribution instruments by country category
Country
Category:
Redistributive
Instrument:
Redistribution of
current income &
assets
(middle-income countries)
Growth with
redistribution policies
(middle & most low-income)
Growth without
redistribution policies
(very low-income countries)
Progressive
taxation
Yes Yes for some countries No
Transfer payments Yes Yes for some countries No
Consumer subsidies Yes Yes Yes for some countries
Public job schemes Yes Yes No
Land reform Yes, but not always
relevant
Yes Not for most countries
Education & health Yes Yes Yes
Infrastructure &
Public Works
Yes Yes Yes
Source: D. Sogge (2002) Give and Take. What’s the Matter with Foreign Aid? London: Pluto p. 207, adapted from: Dagdeviren, H., R. van der Hoeven and J. Weeks
(2001) Redistribution Does Matter: Growth and Redistribution for Poverty Reduction, WIDER Development Conference on Growth and Poverty, Helsinki
Toward equitable asset-holding (1)
• Stop making basic health services &c. mere
commodities (such as via user fees)
• Protect productive assets esp. land & water:
make deals transparent & non-coercive
• Replace ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ with
enforceable, statutory rules
• Create durable, decent employment. As
recognised even by big business …
“Worsening Wealth Gap Seen as
Biggest Risk Facing the World in
2014” - World Economic Forum (‘Davos’)
“It’s vital we sit down with young people now and begin
planning solutions aimed at creating fit-for-purpose
educational systems, functional job-markets, efficient
skills exchanges and the sustainable future we all
depend on.”
- David Cole, Group Chief Risk Officer of Swiss Re
Toward equitable asset-holding (2)
• Intellectual property: replace current IP regime
• Restore stolen assets, terminate odious debts
• Phase out secrecy jurisdictions, transfer pricing,
forum-shopping, &c.
• Curb rents from subsidies, protection systems
• Phase in supra-national accountability, taxation
• Prevent crises that promote redistribution
upward. For example, by taxing the financial
sector, as proposed four years ago by …
EADI Conference 2014 - The Broker panel session - Presentation David Sogge

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EADI Conference 2014 - The Broker panel session - Presentation David Sogge

  • 1. Tackling inequality: Looking for Leverage in the Global North David Sogge ‘Inequality and the Post-2015 Agenda’ Workshop 24 June 2014 European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) General Conference, Bonn
  • 2. Norway’s white paper 2013: Sharing for prosperity. Promoting democracy, fair distribution and growth in development policy • job creation • human rights & democracy • Active distributive policies  public services & taxes  safety nets • fight against illicit financial flows and tax havens.
  • 3. Norway’s ‘theory of change’ ? “…there is no contradiction between growth and equity. This recognition was partly based on the experience of the Nordic countries where greater equality bolsters rather than impedes long-term economic growth.” “There is a close link between the distribution of economic goods and the distribution of political power. … A diverse civil society is an important supplement to elected bodies. Civil society and the independent media can act as interest groups, watchdogs and agents of change.” “Creating decent jobs is the best way of lifting people out of poverty and ensuring fair distribution of social goods."
  • 4. OECD Development Co-operation Peer Review Norway [ published November 2013 ] • “progressive”, “coherent”, “clearly stated links to poverty reduction” • “Norway punches above its weight in taking global initiatives…” • “Its main constraint however appears to be capacity” • Remedy: “scale up partnerships with like- minded donors”
  • 5. Norway punches above its weight, but is it merely shadow-boxing ? Government Pension Fund -- the ‘oil fund’ -- goes mainly into North Atlantic financial circuits, seldom lower-income places. “The total Norwegian contribution to inequality in the world is far larger than aid policy to equality.” - Øvind Eggen, by International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI),
  • 6. Feasibility of redistribution instruments by country category Country Category: Redistributive Instrument: Redistribution of current income & assets (middle-income countries) Growth with redistribution policies (middle & most low-income) Growth without redistribution policies (very low-income countries) Progressive taxation Yes Yes for some countries No Transfer payments Yes Yes for some countries No Consumer subsidies Yes Yes Yes for some countries Public job schemes Yes Yes No Land reform Yes, but not always relevant Yes Not for most countries Education & health Yes Yes Yes Infrastructure & Public Works Yes Yes Yes Source: D. Sogge (2002) Give and Take. What’s the Matter with Foreign Aid? London: Pluto p. 207, adapted from: Dagdeviren, H., R. van der Hoeven and J. Weeks (2001) Redistribution Does Matter: Growth and Redistribution for Poverty Reduction, WIDER Development Conference on Growth and Poverty, Helsinki
  • 7.
  • 8. Toward equitable asset-holding (1) • Stop making basic health services &c. mere commodities (such as via user fees) • Protect productive assets esp. land & water: make deals transparent & non-coercive • Replace ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ with enforceable, statutory rules • Create durable, decent employment. As recognised even by big business …
  • 9. “Worsening Wealth Gap Seen as Biggest Risk Facing the World in 2014” - World Economic Forum (‘Davos’) “It’s vital we sit down with young people now and begin planning solutions aimed at creating fit-for-purpose educational systems, functional job-markets, efficient skills exchanges and the sustainable future we all depend on.” - David Cole, Group Chief Risk Officer of Swiss Re
  • 10. Toward equitable asset-holding (2) • Intellectual property: replace current IP regime • Restore stolen assets, terminate odious debts • Phase out secrecy jurisdictions, transfer pricing, forum-shopping, &c. • Curb rents from subsidies, protection systems • Phase in supra-national accountability, taxation • Prevent crises that promote redistribution upward. For example, by taxing the financial sector, as proposed four years ago by …