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The Inequality Predicament   

The Inequality Predicament
Report on the World Social Situation 2005

UNITED NATIONS 

This work is published for and on behalf of the United Nations.

Paper  Back Book   :   Pages : 158 + xi
2006  Edition         :   ISBN - 81-7188-559-4
Price : Rs. 350.00  
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ABOUT THE BOOK :

Since the series was launched in 1952, the Report on the World Social Situation has served as a foundation for discussions and policy analysis of socio-economic issues at the intergovernmental level. It has served to identify emerging social trends of international concern and analyze relationships among major development issues with national, regional and international dimensions.

The 2005 Report continues that tradition by addressing the subject of inequality. In particular, it focuses on some of the growing inequalities that make it challenging, but all the more imperative, to reach the Millennium Development Goals. It shows us that we cannot advance the development agenda without addressing the challenges of inequality within and between countries—the widening gap between skilled and unskilled workers, the chasm between the formal and informal economies, the growing disparities in health, education and opportunities for social and political participation.

The Report identifies four areas of particular importance: addressing worldwide asymmetries resulting from globalization; incorporating explicitly the goal of reducing inequality in policies and programmes designed to achieve poverty reduction; expanding opportunities for employment, with particular attention to improving conditions in the informal economy; and promoting social integration and cohesion as key to development, peace and security.

By detailing some of the most critical issues affecting social development today, the Report can help guide decisive action to build a more secure and prosperous world in which people are better able to enjoy their fundamental human rights and freedoms. Overcoming the inequality predicament is an essential element of this quest.


CONTENTS IN DETAIL :

Preface

Explanatory notes

Executive summary

Introduction

I.

The case for focusing on inequality

Linkages between poverty eradication and inequality

Inequality and the economic dimension of poverty

Inequality and the socio-political dimensions of poverty

Structural reform, the public sector and inequality

Universal access to education, health care and social protection

Patterns of intervention

Conclusion

 

II.

A spotlight on inequality: the informal economy

A brief overview of the informal economy

The attraction of the informal economy

Reasons for the growth of the informal economy

Linkages between the formal and informal economies

Conclusion

 

III.

Trends and patterns of inequality

Economic aspects of inequality

Income inequality between countries

Income inequality within countries

Poverty

Unemployment

Non-economic aspects of inequality

Health

Life expectancy

Maternal and child health

HIV/AIDS and other deseases

Hunger and malnutrition

Education

Conclusion

 

IV.

Inequalities and social integration

Intergenerational dimensions of inequality

Consumption, inequality and social integration

Violence and inequality

Violent crime

Armed conflict

Youth demographics

Rape and child soldiers

Domestic violence and slavery

Fostering democracy and social integration

Conclusion

 

V.

The changing context of development and inequality

Globalization: asymmetries and the loss of policy space

The impact of liberalization and stabilization policies on

inequality

Financial liberalization

Trade liberalization

Financing the social agenda

Official development assistance

Innovative sources of financing

Migrant remittances

The peace dividend

The role of the State and civil society

Conclusion

 

VI.

The way forward: policies to reduce inequality

Redressing global asymmetries

Intensifying integrated strategies and policies for poverty eradication

Guaranteeing employment opportunities for all

Fostering social integration and cohesion

 

Annex

The ten commitments of the World Summit for Social Development

Bibliography

Figures

I.1

Policy framework: the three main pillars of social development centred on equity and equality

I.2

Relationship between life expectancy at birth and the level of public and private health spending, 2002

III.1

Evolution of income inequality among countries

III.2

Per capita gross domestic product in the poorest and richest countries, 1960-1962 and 2000-2002

III.3

Inequalities in life expectancy between major world regions: deviations of regional life expectancy at birth from that of Australia/New Zealand, (1990-1995 and 2000-2005)

III.4

Distribution of all countries according to how far their life expectancy falls below that of Japan, 1990 and 2000

V.1

Aid from all Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors as a percentage of gross domestic product: the long-term trend to 2004

V.2

Aid from Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors as a proportion of gross domestic product

V.3

Social sector spending among country groupings classified by income

V.4

Defence and social sector spending in countries with the highest defence expenditures

V.5

Defence and social spending in countries with the highest social sector expenditures

Tables

I.1

Size and growth of the informal sector in selected countries, by sex

III.1

Regional per capita income as a share of high-income OECD countries’ average per capita income

III.2

Distribution of countries according to trends in Gini coefficients for income distribution between the 1950s and the 1990s

III.3

Poverty rates for the world, major regions, and China and India

III.4

Unemployment rates, labour force growth rates and GDP growth rates for the world and major regions

III.5

Levels of under-five mortality for selected countries and between-country inequality indices

III.6

Under-five mortality for countries with the highest and lowest rates, 1995, 2000 and 2002

III.7

Immunization coverage among children aged 12-23 months, by country and selected background characteristics

III.8

Differentials within and between selected countries in access to skilled medical care at delivery for children born three years before the survey

III.9

Adults and children affected by HIV/AIDS: the world and major regions, 2004

III.10

Women living with HIV: the world and major regions, 2004

III.11

Percentages of total, urban and rural household populations with no education, by sex

III.12

Inequalities in primary school enrolment: the world and major regions, 1998 and 2001

III.13

Inequalities in secondary school enrolment: the world and major regions, 1998 and 2001
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