Desigualdad: una revisión actualizada

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Hasta hace poco tiempo, la desigualdad era considerada uno de los graves problemas a los que se enfrentaban los países en vías de desarrollo, en común con las agudas situaciones de pobreza que generalmente sufrían. Pero la crisis financiera de 2008, la pandemia de la COVID-19 y la mayor sensibilización por el cambio climático han hecho que instituciones multinacionales, foros económicos, y personas significadas proclamen repetidamente que la desigualdad es uno de los mayores desafíos de nuestro tiempo. Hoy creemos que la desigualdad es un reto global, que debilita la cohesión social, hace más vulnerables a las economías, y es síntoma y preludio de otros males. Este trabajo intenta ser una síntesis actualizada de algunos desarrollos en materia de desigualdad. Comenzamos revisando los diversos tipos de desigualdad y sus medidas, examinando su situación actual, y considerando los efectos de la pandemia. Se analizan las razones por las que debe preocuparnos la desigualdad, distinguiendo entre igualdad de oportunidades e igualdad de resultados. Tras examinar la evidencia disponible acerca de las posibles causas de desigualdad, se describen las distintas actuaciones que pueden conducir a su reducción, prestando atención a la diferencia entre pre-distribución y redistribución, pues ambas deben considerarse importantes.
Until recently, inequality was considered one of the most serious problems facing developing countries, in common with the acute situations of poverty that they generally suffered. But the 2008 financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and heightened awareness of climate change have caused multinational institutions, economic forums, and prominent individuals to repeatedly proclaim that inequality is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Today we believe that inequality is a global challenge that weakens social cohesion, makes economies more vulnerable, and is a symptom and prelude to other ills. This work tries to be an updated synthesis of some developments in the matter of inequality. We begin by reviewing the various types of inequality and their measures, examining their current status, and considering the effects of the pandemic. The reasons why we should be concerned about inequality are analyzed, distinguishing between equal opportunities and equal results. After examining the available evidence about the possible causes of inequality, the different actions that can lead to its reduction are described, paying attention to the difference between pre-distribution and redistribution, since both must be considered important.
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