Headline Feb 06, 2016/ ''' INEQUALITY - students - TECHNOLOGY '''

''' INEQUALITY - students - 


THE WORLD OVER,  THE LEADERS  would have to hold in readiness a Daring Strategy to narrow the gaps of  Inequality-

*This the  Key Test*   of what sort leaders they care to be remembered by. No two ways on that. As simple as that.

It is only in the case inter-country distribution of income that some closing of the gap has occurred in  the period between  1980  when China launched a well thought out program of economic reforms and 2008, when the world went into the  Great Recession. the country's  GDP increased 32 fold.

Income per head in the  US  increases only  four times but the number of people who were considered to be poor did not decline. In the US, far more than in China, most of the increase in national income was captured by the top  10%  of the population.

Before the Davos meeting,  some of the themes that figured in the discussions in the Alpine village were discussed in an another forum. 

The 70  'Inequality themed'  papers presented at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association moved a nest of new research demonstrating how and why inequality has increased.

The papers presented convincing analyses of what was behind the increase in inequality in inter-personal incomes.

According to one estimate, innovation combined with entrepreneurship can only account for about  14%  of inequality. The remaining  86%  is because of access to what economists  call  'rents'.

Rent seeking is the activity that yields higher rewards without adding additional value to the economy. Corruption is an obvious example of rent seeking. In addition to resulting  inequality, corrupt transactions increase the cost to those who need help from officialdom.

*Corruption, in other words, is a major burden on the economy and creates inequality. Inequality also retards political  progress. The renters in the system would want to keep their hold on the political system, ensuring it remains exclusive rather than inclusive.*

The Arab Spring is a good example of the kind of instability that  persistent inequality can bring to  political systems. How do these findings apply to the developing world, say, Pakistan.

The World Bank suggests that the incidence of inequality in the country as measured  by the  Gini coefficient is relatively less than than the average for South Asia.

I am not aware of any serious analyses of the extent of corruption in the country but it is no more than what goes on in India and Bangladesh.

Some of the advances Pakistan has made in terms of political development and appear to indicate that most segments of the population seem to be content with progress made in this area.

But this should not lead to complacency. 

The civil society, mainly in the developing world,  should keep a close watch on inequality trends and ensure that the political system becomes progressively more inclusive and income distribution does not deteriorate. 

Data, and that too, relevant Data can surely help fight Inequality and Poverty:

One such study took place in Zambia. One problem there, as in other low income countries, is how to recruit the  ''right''  kind of workers for jobs like teachers and health workers  -where  right  refers to those who are capable and genuinely interested in helping the community, not just looking for money and a steppingstone to another job

One interesting fact that emerged in a study conducted last year was that people recruited with  ''career'' advertisements were more qualified and scored higher on exams during training, and also exhibited the same degree of emphasis on community service.

The  ''go-getters''  also outperformed the  ''do-gooders''  on the job, seeing the same number of patients in their health clinics while conducting 29% more home visits and twice as many community health meetings.

More important, updated  data show that communities served by the ''go-getters''  are doing better on key health benchmarks such as facility-based childbirth, breast-feeding, vaccinations and nutrition.   

[after being recruited, everyone was told about the opportunities for career advancement, so that no differences in performance could be attributed to differing incentives.] 

These insights are just the tip of the iceberg. Annie Duflo and Professor Dean Karlan, have found,  that pairing experts in behavioral science with  ''on the ground''  teams of researchers and field workers has yielded many good ideas about how to address the problems of poverty.

Hope, inequality, poverty rhetoric are great for motivation, but not for figuring out what to do. There you need technology. There you need data.   

With respectful dedication to the Leaders, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all Sires, on !WOW!  -the World Students Society:

''' Innovations For Poverty Action '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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