Multi-Dimensional Review of Panama

Volume 1: Initial Assessment

image of Multi-Dimensional Review of Panama

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Panama has exhibited remarkable economic growth and has reduced the gap in terms of income per capita with high-income countries. Social progress has also been achieved, mainly through the reduction of poverty and advances in some well-being dimensions. However, challenges remain with regard to overcoming the so-called middle-income trap and consolidating the middle-class. This first volume of the Multi-dimensional Country Review of Panama identifies the main barriers to further inclusive development. It highlights that promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and improving the well-being of all citizens should be at the core of Panama’s development strategies.


Social inclusion in Panama

OECD Development Centre

Strong and sustained economic growth over the past 15 years has translated into significant improvements in well-being outcomes. Although economic growth lifted a significant share of the population out of poverty and created jobs, Panama still faces structural challenges preventing the emergence of a consolidated middle class and equity across territories. This chapter discusses the main bottlenecks affecting inclusive growth and well-being. It begins with an overview of income patterns in the past decade and then examines the main drivers of inequality. It looks in particular at the role of income redistribution, differences across regions, urban planning, education and skills, and job quality. Assessing these drivers is key to improve the lives of all Panamanians, especially the most vulnerable.



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