Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Morning Links

This and that for your Sunday reading.

- Jonathan Ostry comments on the emerging recognition that inequality represents a barrier to economic development:
I argue that greater attention should be paid to the consequences that economic policies have for income distribution (inequality). The reasons are four-fold.
  • First, excessive levels of inequality are bad not only for social and moral reasons but also for growth and efficiency: higher levels of inequality are associated, on average, with lower and less durable growth. Hence, even from the perspective of the goal of fostering growth, attention to inequality is necessary.
  • Second, high levels of inequality may lead to latent social conflicts that ultimately translate into political backlash against the pursuit of free market polices, including globalization.
  • Third, the fear that income redistribution would have an adverse impact on growth turns out to find little support in the data — implementing policies to reduce excessive inequality tend on average to support growth (by reducing inequality) rather than retard growth.
  • Fourth, many policy choices made by governments have a direct effect on inequality outcomes. Hence, inequality outcomes are not, as is sometimes argued, exclusively due to technological changes (such as robotization or digitalization) and other global trends that are beyond the control of any one government.
- Andrew Jackson writes about the need for a more accessible and comprehensive employment insurance system.

- Haroon Siddique reports on a new study showing that hundreds of thousands of people are driven out of the UK's workforce each year by mental health problems. 

- Patrick Clark discusses how rising rents are putting intolerable stress on U.S. tenants. And Jim Silver rebuts (PDF) a KPMG report intended to lay the groundwork to hope the private sector will deliver affordable housing in Manitoba.

- Finally, Stephen Tweedale responds to a couple of criticisms of proportional electoral systems - particularly ones which are based solely on wilful neglect as to how concerns can be addressed. 

[Edit: fixed typo.]

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