Broken jigsaw puzzle

El rompecabezas de la desigualdad

NUEVA YORK – Durante la última década, la desigualdad del ingreso fue equiparada con el terrorismo, el cambio climático, las pandemias y el estancamiento económico como uno de los temas más urgentes en la agenda de la política internacional. Sin embargo, a pesar de toda la atención que recibe, han sido pocas las propuestas de soluciones potencialmente eficaces. La identificación de las mejores políticas para reducir la desigualdad continúa siendo un rompecabezas.

Para entender por qué el problema confunde a los responsables de las políticas, resulta útil comparar las dos mayores economías del mundo. Estados Unidos es una democracia liberal con una economía basada en el mercado, en la cual los factores de la producción son de propiedad privada. China, por el contrario, está gobernada por una clase política que desprecia la democracia. Su economía —a pesar de décadas de reformas favorables al mercado— continúa definida por una fuerte intervención estatal.

Pero a pesar de contar con sistemas políticos y económicos radicalmente diferentes, ambos países exhiben aproximadamente el mismo nivel de desigualdad en el ingreso. El coeficiente de Gini —la medida más frecuentemente usada de la desigualdad en el ingreso— de ambos países es aproximadamente 0,47.

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