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Opportunities for All

A Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth

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Globalisation, digitalisation, demographics and climate change are transforming our economies and our societies. They provide new opportunities for growth but at the same time increase the risk of deeper inequalities, in a context where these are already high. Reducing inequalities by making growth beneficial for all is the best way to build strong foundations for future prosperity and to give everyone the opportunity to contribute and succeed. To make this happen, equality needs to be considered from the start when governments design growth policies, rather than tackled afterwards through redistribution. Such an ex ante approach can help people, firms and regions fulfil their potential and drive growth, both locally and globally. By better aligning domestic and international policies, opportunities for growth can be used more effectively to provide higher standards for protection of social, environmental and human rights around the world. The OECD has developed a Framework for Policy Action on Inclusive Growth to help governments to improve the prospects of those currently being left behind. Using a dashboard of indicators, the framework presents key policy recommendations to sustain and more equitably share the gains of economic growth by investing in people and places that have been left behind, supporting business dynamism and inclusive labour markets, and building efficient and responsive governments.

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Sustain growth that benefits all

The upswing in the global economic outlook creates opportunities to make economic growth beneficial to all. This chapter charts the outcomes of growth for people to understand better whether economic growth is being translated into rising living standards across different groups of population in terms of income, gender, age and region of residence. Despite recent improvements in some countries, more progress is needed to transform productivity gains and job creation into increased living standards for all. Income and wealth inequality remains at high levels in some OECD countries and the spread is growing. The bottom of the distribution remains at high risk of falling further behind, while the top 1% are pulling further ahead. Gaps emerge and are growing in other areas too. These trends are also prevalent across regions and indeed, age-groups, which is of particular concern given ageing societies, principally in developed countries. Responding to these challenges requires an emphasis on policies that put inclusive growth at the centre, with an emphasis on: product and labour market policies and educational policies that are key for equitably sharing productivity gains; fair and efficient redistribution systems; ensuring the finance sector works for everyone in society; promoting regional catching up, and providing youth with a strong start to their educational and working lives.

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