Thinking Aloud: Volume III, Issue 4: September 1, 2016
The September, 2016 issue of Thinking Aloud concentrates on the theme of ‘poverty and inequality’. The first article titled “Cross-country differences in income inequality: Where do South Asian countries stand?” explores the trends in movements of inequality for a large number of countries with a special focus on South Asia. Using a global standardized database on income inequality, the article finds that, during 1980 and 2015, among the 8 South Asian countries, inequality improved only in Bhutan, Maldives and Nepal, whereas inequality became worsened in other 5 countries. The article shows that, while an increase in real GDP per capita does not guarantee for reduction in income inequality, investment in social infrastructure for raising health and educational statuses of the masses can be instrumental for reducing income inequality. The second article “Does employment status matter for the wellbeing of rural households in Bangladesh?”, using data from the Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS) of IFPRI, explores the association between employment status and wellbeing of rural households in Bangladesh. The study finds that in comparison to wage employment (both in the farm and nonfarm sectors), self-employment in the non-farm sector has a strong transitory power to improve household wellbeing in the rural areas. For this issue, SANEM interviews Dr. Binayak Sen, Research Director, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, where he talks on inclusive growth, poverty and inequality. In his discussion, Dr. Sen illuminates issues regarding inequality, impacts of factors like corruption, migration, returns to education, access to credit etc on inequality, and potential measures for lowering inequality in Bangladesh. Finally, the fourth page covers a call for participation in the 9th South Asian Training Program on CGE Modeling to be held in November, 2016 in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.