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While inequality has decreased across countries, it has increased within them, in the advanced and developing worlds alike.As a result, most countries face a trio of inequalities – of income, wealth and opportunity – which, left unchecked, reinforce one another, with far-reaching consequences. Indeed, beyond this trio's moral, social and political implications lies a serious economic concern: Instead of creating incentives for hard work and innovation, inequality begins to undermine economic dynamism, investment, employment and prosperity.That is why it is so disappointing that, despite heightened awareness of inequality, the IMF/World Bank meetings – a gathering of thousands of policymakers, private-sector participants and journalists, which included seminars on inequality in advanced countries and developing regions alike – failed to make a consequential impact on the policy agenda.Policymakers seem convinced that the time is not right for a meaningful initiative to address inequality of income, wealth and opportunity. It is time for heightened global attention to inequality to translate into concerted action. Some initiatives would tackle inequality directly; others would defuse some of the forces that drive it.
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