Moderator: Gita Gopinath, Economic Counsellor and Director Research Department, IMF
Opening Remarks: Carla Grasso, Deputy Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), IMF
Presenter: Elizabeth Schulze, Technology Correspondent, CNBC International
Lyndsay Walsh, Graduate Student, Trinity College Dublin, and F&D Essay Contest Winner
Tarik Gooptu, Graduate, University of Oxford, and F&D Essay Contest Runner Up
Inequality, both between and within countries, constitutes a major challenge that can be magnified by climate change and rapid urbanization. Young generations are more likely to be at risk of poverty. The IMF’s Chief Economist, Gita Gopinath, shared the stage with two F&D magazine’s global student essay contest winners and discussed how best to tackle inequality in the 21th century.
Youth and inequality. Schulze presented evidence showing that income inequality is even worse for the younger generations. With aging populations, the financing of pay-as-you-go social assistance programs and pensions is shifting the burden on to the youth. Grasso emphasized that it is important to hear the voice of young people on how to tackle these issues.
Climate change and inequality. Although low and middle-income countries are responsible for only a small percentage of global greenhouse gases, they are disproportionately affected by climate change. Walsh noted that climate change may exacerbate existing inequalities. Gopinath agreed and emphasized that climate change is a medium- to long-run problem that needs to be dealt with urgently.
Urbanization and inequality. An often overlooked issue is the large inequities within cities. Cities are often the home to both the highest earners and the most dispossessed. Gooptu noted that the rapid urbanization may thus lead to larger inequality.
Tackle inequality. Walsh stressed that proper institutions, multilateral cooperation, and an international climate fund are needed to tackle climate change and the rising inequality. Gooptu noted that a smart and data-driven urban planning framework, enabled by effective public-private partnerships, is crucial to reduce inequality.
“[Climate change] is such a global problem and if just one country does something, it is not going to make a big difference.” Lyndsay Walsh
“Start big and think about the small mechanisms that may cause the policy failure, so we can get more tangible solutions.” Tarik Gooptu
Contributor: Bo Zhao