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Roundtable on Growth, Jobs and Distribution

November 12, 2012 - November 12, 2012
Columbia University   New York, New York, United States
The Growth Dialogue   Washington DC, District of Columbia, United States

Four years after the onset of the financial crisis, the advanced economies are still struggling to revive growth, improve job prospects and contain worsening income distributions. At the same time, the East Asian growth engine is showing signs of strain, and developing economies are wondering whether the export oriented development strategies predicated on robust global demand, will continue to deliver the desired economic outcomes. Policy discussions once reserved for emerging economies, such as the necessity of creating jobs, industrial restructuring, and tightening fiscal management are now the daily preoccupation of decision makers in the OECD. At the core of the policy dilemma for countries drawn from a broad spectrum, is the relationship between growth, jobs, and distribution.

What has been relatively neglected to date is a systematic discussion of the linkages among the three phenomena of low growth, weak job creation, and worsening inequality in the US. The US context, although by no means indicative of the entire OECD experience, is relevant for others with broadly similar systems and in comparable predicaments. Furthermore, because policies pursued by the US have ramifications globally, the US experience is doubly relevant.

The purpose of this roundtable is bringing together academics and practitioners to exchange thoughts on the political economy of short and long term initiatives that can effectively break a downward cycle of economic trends in advanced economies, and in-so-doing, provide new insights for other less advanced economies.

The triad of issues of growth, jobs and distribution, drawing upon existing empirical evidence, will be discussed. In addition, areas for further work will be identified and some preliminary conclusions drawn that can assist other less advanced countries facing similar challenges.

Based on further research and analysis, the Growth Dialogue and the Initiative for Policy Dialogue will, with the collaboration of the World Bank and other affiliated institutions, begin to organize a series of policy debates and conversations to be attended by policymakers from a range of countries. The plan is to increase exposure and knowledge of the tradeoffs and challenges that lie in the path of those who seek to increase economic growth, while improving job prospects and maintaining reasonable sharing of the gains of development. While this is not a new challenge, we believe that the global environment has made these objectives both more urgent and harder to achieve and we hope to deepen insights into the management of these issues.


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