24 April 2015
So we have reached April. The year is starting to move fast. I'm writing this from New York, having just participated in an event on the sustainable development goals, organized by UNU's Institute for Environment and Human Security, Bonn, together with the German Research Foundation. The German mission to the UN hosted the conference, which took place amidst the continued UN processes on the SDGs. The marriage of sustainability and development is of course one of the major challenges of our time, since the old development model will no longer do.
In this Angle senior research fellow Channing Arndt reflects on the economic principles underlying approaches to climate change. He asks whether the 'polluter pays' principle works in the context of the challenges we face due to our warming planet. Channing has led much of our work on climate change over the last few years, and is now active on Africa's energy challenges, working with research fellow Nadia Ouedraogo, who recently joined UNU-WIDER.
In the VIDEOAngle Murray Leibbrandt of the University of Cape Town discusses inequality in South Africa. Murray is one of South Africa's foremost researchers on the issue, and discussed South Africa and its challenges during UNU-WIDER's conference last year on inequality.
This month's RESEARCHAngle brings you news of two recent WIDER Working Papers. The first is by Alice Krozer on measuring inequality. Alice notes that the most common measure, the Gini, overemphasizes changes in the distribution's middle, whereas most people are interested in what is happening at either extreme (the very wealthy or very poor). She then discusses ways to better capture these extremes. One finding is that in many countries the income share of the top 5% is very much larger than the next 5%. We live in a very unequal world. There is a whole bunch of papers from last year's inequality conference on our website, and you can still watch the conference sessions on our YouTube channel.
The second paper featured in RESEARCHAngle is by one of the foremost experts in the field of inequality, Tony Atkinson. Tony discusses the colonial legacy for African inequality, and how inequality has transmitted itself down time--some fifty or more years since the first countries became independent. Tony's work was one of the inspirations for us setting up the World Income Inequality...