Trade and Development Report 2017

Beyond Austerity - Towards a Global New Deal

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The Trade and Development Report (TDR), launched in 1981, is issued every year for the annual session of the Trade and Development Board. The Report analyses current economic trends and major policy issues of international concern, and makes suggestions for addressing these issues at various levels. This year’s Report focuses on the challenges for achieving inclusive growth in an era of austerity, hyper globalization and financial fragility. It includes chapters on robotics, gender and employment, finance and inequality, and the growing market power of non-financial corporations. It concludes by calling for Global New Deal, and the sorts of policy components it must include in light of the analyses provided.



Market power and inequality: The revenge of the rentiers

The changing international division of labour, economic policy choices, political decisions and new technologies all help to explain persistently rising patterns of asset and income inequality under hyperglobalization since the early 1980s. However, achieving a more inclusive growth performance at the global level also requires an explicit understanding of how these inequalities have been nurtured by growing imbalances of economic power. The previous chapter has looked at such imbalances in relation to financialization dynamics; this chapter examines some systemic shifts in power relations between core economic actors in the non-financial corporate sector. It is based on the understanding that “institutions matter, a lot” (The Economist, 2013), and that “rebalancing power” (Atkinson, 2015: 99) is essential for achieving sustainable and inclusive prosperity at both national and international levels. In particular, it examines how the continuous deregulation of labour, product and financial markets has given rise to structural shifts in power relations between labour and capital in developed economies, and between States and large corporations at the global level.


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