Umverteilung oder Inklusion?

RIAD – Eine große Rolle spielte auf dem diesjährigen Weltwirtschaftsforum in Davos das Problem der zunehmenden Einkommensungleichheit. Bekanntermaßen ist die US-Wirtschaft im Lauf der letzten drei Jahrzehnte deutlich gewachsen, das Einkommen einer Durchschnittsfamilie dagegen nicht. Die reichsten 1% (oder genauer, die reichsten 0,01%) haben die meisten der Gewinne in Beschlag genommen – etwas, das eine Gesellschaft nicht lange tolerieren dürfte.

Viele fürchten, dass es sich hierbei um ein globales Phänomen handeln könnte, das überall ähnliche Ursachen hat. Unter anderem ist dies eine zentrale Behauptung in Thomas Pikettys berühmtem Buch Das Kapital im 21. Jahrhundert. Doch diese These könnte gefährlich in die Irre führen.

Es ist von entscheidender Bedeutung, zwischen der Ungleichheit bei der Produktivität zwischen Unternehmen und der ungleichen Einkommensverteilung innerhalb von Unternehmen zu unterscheiden. Beim traditionellen Konflikt zwischen Arbeit und Kapital geht es um Letzteres, Arbeitnehmer und Eigentümer kämpfen um ihren Anteil am Kuchen. Doch besteht eine erstaunlich starke Ungleichheit bei der Produktivität der Unternehmen, was bedeutet, dass sich die Größe des Kuchens radikal unterscheidet. Dies gilt besonders für die Entwicklungsländer, wo man häufig Produktivitätsunterschiede des Faktors 10 auf Provinz- oder Landesebene und noch viel höhere auf kommunaler Ebene antrifft.

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