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Piketty's analysis of wealth inequality in 'Capital in the Twenty First Century' has ignited a fierce debate among academics, policy makers, and the media about how to tackle growing income inequality in the developed world. In light of this debate, we present our recommendations for addressing the significant economic, social and ethical problems caused by increased poverty within developed and developing economies.
Rapid economic growth has halved the extreme poverty rate globally in just 20 years. But the law of diminishing returns is at work, and to achieve the same reduction in poverty again would require a much higher growth rate than seems achievable in today's slower-growth world. This is not an area where governments should carry the burden alone. We firmly believe that business must take a leading role, and a responsibility, to contribute. This paper has identified a number of areas where the private sector can make a tangible difference. The first is the role business should play in ensuring workforces have the skills to meet evolving labour market demands. Second, we see opportunities for major philanthropists to increase their engagement as strategic partners, rather than simply as donors, to tackle social challenges such as education, healthcare and financial integration. Finally, the paper considers the potential of impact investing, with its dual social and financial goals, to increase its appeal to mainstream private investors.
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