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Tackling Inequalities in Brazil, China, India and South Africa: The Role of Labour Market and Social Policies (Complete Edition ‐ ISBN 9789264088368)

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Greater integration into the world economy and important policy reforms have resulted in Brazil, China, India and South Africa becoming major actors in the globalisation process, with impressive results in terms of economic growth, social development and poverty reduction. But the benefits of stronger growth have not always been shared equally and income inequality has remained at very high levels. 

Existing evidence suggests that the evolution of the distribution of income in these four countries is the result of many forces. These include demographic change, migration, unequal access to education, informal employment, existing regulations and their enforcement, social norms and cultural legacy. These forces are often interlinked and reinforce one another. However, as employment is the primary source of income for most households, understanding the impact of labour market outcomes is crucial.  

This book focuses on the role of growth and employment/unemployment developments in explaining recent income inequality trends in Brazil, China, India and South Africa, and discusses the roles played by labour market and social policies in both shaping and addressing these inequalities. It includes the papers presented at the joint OECD and European Union High‐Level Conference on Inequalities in Emerging Economies held in Paris in May 2010. This work is part of OECD's ongoing dialogue and co‐operation with non‐member economies around the world.

Acronyms and abbreviations

Chapter 1. Growth, employment and inequality in Brazil, China, India and South Africa: An Overview by Elena Arnal and Michael Fõrster


‐1.1. Economic growth since the early 1990s: models and outcomes

‐1.2. Labour market developments

‐1.3. Impacts on poverty and income inequality

‐1.4. Conclusion

‐Annex 1.A1. Main sources used for the BCIS countries

Chapter 2. The decade of falling income inequality and formal employment generation in Brazil by Marcelo Côrtes Neri


‐2.1. Income policies

‐2.2. Describing income‐based social indicators

‐2.3. Determinants of income distribution changes

‐2.4. Labour market performance

‐2.5. Prospective agenda for labour and education policies

‐2.6. Conclusion

‐Annex 2.A1. Measurement aspects

‐Annex 2.A2. Methodological issues

Chapter 3. Fast growth, but widening income distribution in China by Cai Fang and Du Yang


‐3.1. Inequality trends in China

‐3.2. Labour market outcomes, poverty and inequality trends: what links?

‐3.3. Role of labour market institutions, regulations and policies

‐3.4. The role of social assistance programmes and the pension system

‐3.5. The impacts of other policies on inequality developments

‐3.6. Conclusion

‐Annex 3.A1. Studies on inequality in China

Chapter 4. Decreasing poverty and increasing inequality in India by Dipak Mazundar


‐4.1. Growth with inequality: its nature and determinants

‐4.2. The role of labour market and social policies

‐4.3. Conclusion

‐Annex 4.A1. The methodology of decomposing the contribution of significant variables to income inequality

‐Annex 4.A2. Calculation of the "Pseudo Gini" for different sources of income

‐Annex 4.A3. The Indian manufacturing sector

‐Annex 4.A4. Heterogeneity of labour in developing countries

Chapter 5 . Better employment to reduce inequality further in South Africa by Murray Leibbrandt, Ingrid Wollard, Hayley McEwen and Charlotte Koep


‐5.1. Growth patterns and labour market outcomes

‐5.2. Labour market outcomes and trends in poverty and inequality: what links?

‐5.3. The role of labour market institutions and policies

‐5.4. What role for social policies?

‐5.5. Other policies impacting inequality

Chapter 6. What role for policies in tackling inequality? by Elena Arnal and Michael Fõrster


‐6.1. Main labour market and social policies affecting redistribution

‐6.2. Impact of selected poverty alleviation policies

‐6.3. Conclusion
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 October 2010

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