Many of the countries that have recently converted to a market-based economic system have also experienced an alarming increase in income inequality u a widening gap between the haves and have nots. But to what extent is the increase in inequality also increasing the opportunities for economic advancement u particularly for those at the bottom of the economic ladder? Does the creation of greater opportunities make a region's move to the market politically acceptable? And, if opportunities don't increase along with inequality, will it eventually cause a political backlash against a country's market policies? This book highlights the importance of finding the answers to those questions by examining the issues of social mobility and opportunity as an essential part of the income inequality puzzle. It provides a summary of the latest research on the economics and politics of social mobility in both developed and emerging market economies, including the conceptual issues involved and the challenges of accurately documenting trends.
The book concludes with a discussion of the economics of opportunity and mobility in Latin America and Eastern Europe, and the politics and perceptions of mobility in the two regions.
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(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
Publisher: Brookings Institution
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Author Biography - Nancy Birdsall
Nancy Birdsall is the founding president of the Center for Global Development. Prior to launching the center, Birdsall was senior associate and director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. From 1993 to 1998, Birdsall was executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank. Carol Graham is a senior fellow in both Foreign Policy Studies and Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, where she holds the Charles Robinson Chair in Foreign Policy. Her most recent book is Happiness around the World: The Paradox of Happy Peasants and Miserable Millionaires (Oxford University Press, 2010).