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AN IMBALANCED UPTURN

Data show that the world’s poor have still not recovered from the 2008 financial crisis

A house that is teetering on the edge of a building.
Unsplash/Cindy Tang
In OECD countries, it has been an unbalanced recovery.
Dan Kopf
By Dan Kopf

Data editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

The 2008 financial crisis was a disaster for inequality. The recovery has not been that much better.

At the end of 2016, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) updated its estimates of inequality for 33 of its member countries. The data show that the economic devastation of the financial crisis hit households in the bottom 10% of the income distribution hardest. The recovery since 2010 has been more than three times better for the richest than the poorest. In the average OECD country, from 2007-2014, incomes were almost 14% lower for the bottom 10%, while the wealthiest 10% saw modest growth.

The economist Jan Zilinsky points out that by far the most pain has been felt by the poor in Spain, Greece and Portugal. In all three of these countries, the bottom 10% of households lost more than half their income from 2007 to 2014, primarily due to joblessness. According to Zilinsky, the plight of these people has “largely been forgotten.”

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