Report on the world social situation 2013

Inequality Matters

image of Report on the world social situation 2013
The 2013 report examines key drivers of inequality that have emerged in the recent past and the impact of rising inequality. It examines trends in social, economic and spatial inequalities and assesses why inequality matters in order to propose policy solutions to this persistent problem, paying particular attention to the potential role of empowerment and participation. The report highlights inequalities within and across countries and shows the cumulative, mutually-reinforcing effects these inequalities have on the systematic lack of participation and disadvantage of some social groups and on the intergenerational transmission of poverty. It discusses the role of economic and political institutions in promoting participation and empowerment.



Identity and inequality: focus on social groups

The previous chapters have shown that factors beyond an individual’s skill or effort, such as place of residence or parents’ education, affect income, access to other productive assets, and health and educational status, thus creating inequality between individuals. Yet other characteristics that identify the social group to which an individual belongs, including gender, age, and migrant, indigenous or disability status, also have considerable influence on well-being and economic outcomes. Indeed, an individual’s chances in life depend significantly on group ascription and the ways in which both the individual and group interacts with public institutions and the labour market.


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