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Making Cities Work for All

Data and Actions for Inclusive Growth

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Cities are places where opportunities for prosperity coexist with stark inequalities between the richest and the poorest. Cities produce and attract highly educated workers and innovative employers. It is usually easier in cities than in other parts of the country for individuals to climb up the income, education or jobs ladder. But cities, especially the largest ones, also concentrate inequalities, both in income and in other well-being aspects,  that remain remarkably high in many OECD economies. Access to opportunities seems stalled for many low-income urban residents, who often live in distressed neighbourhoods.  This report provides ground-breaking, internationally comparable data on economic growth, inequalities and well-being at the city level in OECD countries. It provides empirical evidence on how cities are diverging from, or converging with, other parts of the country, and of the extent of inequality within cities. Finally, it proposes a framework for action, to help national and local governments reorient policies towards more inclusive growth in cities – a new approach to growth that ensures that no part of society is left behind.

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A three-dimensional measure of inclusive growth in regions

This chapter proposes a measure of inclusive growth that integrates the income dimension with non-income outcomes, jobs and health, and takes into account the distribution of income among different household groups. Following the OECD inclusive growth framework, this summary measure of welfare – expressed in monetary terms and called multidimensional living standards – is applied to 209 OECD regions covering the period 2003-12. This is the first time that such data have been collected and analysed in this way at subnational level. The chapter describes levels and trends of multidimensional living standards in regions focusing on three aspects. It first looks at whether the different components of living standards reinforce each other in regions; second, it analyses whether economic growth in regions translates into higher multidimensional living standards; finally, the chapter explores whether living standards have followed different trends in metropolitan regions compared with the other parts of a country.

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