Marcelo Neri, from FGV’s Centre for Social Policy (CPS) and EPGE - Brazilian School of Economics and Finance, attended the World Social Science Forum 2015 in Durban, South Africa. The congress brought together more than 1,000 researchers from 84 countries and, at the end of the four-day event, a statement on Global Inequality, delivered to the South African Congress, was produced.
This is Neri’s third trip in recent years to South Africa, where he carries out comparative research in the social field within the BRICS. On his first trip, at the invitation of the OECD, he gave a lecture about the lessons of Brazilian social programs at the University of Pretoria and the Presidential Palace. On his second trip, he headed the Brazilian delegation as Minister of the Office for Strategic Affairs of the Presidency (SAE/PR) and National Security Advisor (NSA) of Brazil at the summit of BRICS NSAs.
Marcelo Neri was the keynote speaker at the plenary on the impacts of globalization and global inequality. His presentation, entitled “Global Income Distribution, Protests and Assets”, compared the changes in income distribution in Brazil and the world.
“The secret behind the changes in the Brazilian income distribution, since the turn of the millennium, including growth and the change in inequality, has to do with the country’s continuous GDP growth until 2011. People’s incomes rose above GDP since the end of the 2003 recession. Inequality fell since 2001. The triple combination of elements changed the Brazilian income distribution in a broad sense. However, Brazil started losing each of these elements over the past few years. On one hand, the reduction in GDP growth from 2011. Then, from 2012 or 2013, the stagnation of inequality. We show that inequality became stagnant not only in Brazil, but also in Latin America. Although we are at the lowest inequality level in history, it is not much lower than in the ‘60s, when it was first measured, but it stopped decreasing. Only recently, in 2015, rising unemployment and an accelerating inflation, reflecting the previous macroeconomic imbalances, interrupted the process of household income expansion. Brazil is seen as a very special case in a forum like this. Brazil seems to have lost the balance between the social and economic dimensions. The challenge is to resume the path of shared prosperity, recovering productivity and its attractiveness before investors, without forgetting the social spectrum, e resume its progress through this middle path".
Watch the video with part of the presentation below: