Great Expectations: Is the IMF turning words into action on inequality?
In recent years, the International Monetary Fund has become a global leader in highlighting the inequality crisis; consistently identifying it as a major threat to human progress and prosperity. This is a significant shift from its previously held position that rising inequality was a necessary trade-off for achieving greater economic growth.
What is the IMF doing in practice to operationalize its agenda for tackling inequality? The IMF’s main initiative has been a series of pilots that integrate inequality analysis into its economic surveillance of countries. This paper outlines Oxfam’s evaluation of these pilots and finds that they are not promoting policies that reduce inequality. It gives recommendations for the IMF to systematically incorporate the fight against inequality into its research and its actions on the ground.