Making Globalisation Work for All?


This was the theme of the speech by Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General, end of April, in a meeting hosted by the Danish OECD Presidency.  Making Globalisation Work for All is also the theme for the Presidency, and why? Because it does not work for all. He addressed the negative consequences of globalization and lifelong learning was one of the things suggested to fight the negative consequences.

A few highlights from his speech:

  • The slowdown in the growth of median incomes

  • Incomes and wealth at the top end have continued to rise rapidly.

  • Across the OECD, the richest 10% of the population now earn almost 10 times more than the poorest 10%, the richest 1% of households in the OECD possess 19% of total wealth, while the bottom 40% own just 3%

  • Fall in social mobility.

  • Children at most risk of poverty.

  • On average across OECD countries 17% of 20-24 year-olds are not in employment, education or training.

  • Some evidence that market concentration has been increasing across a range of industries. Possible globalisation-related reasons include “winner-take-most” features in some markets.

  • The tendency towards greater market concentration is associated with an observed widening of the divergence of productivity and wages between leading and laggards firms within given sectors. This has also been feeding inequality and yielding stagnant incomes for many workers.

While there is no simple reason or no simple solution for the problems according to Gurria, however, one of the key actions he recommended was

“What is needed is an empowering state. Social protection systems must become social enabling systems. Among other things, this means focussing on gender inclusion, the integration of migrants and early childhood education, as well as life-long learning. Policies have to make it easier for workers to participate in global production networks and adapt to a rapidly changing environment.”

The speech is here:

Press release here:

And the publication here: