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Reducing the Inequality Gap

Belgrade, 27 April 2017 – Increasing growth of inequality has negative effects on economic growth and stability of a society. This was pointed out at today’s launch of a new web platform Monitoring Social Situation in Serbia (MONS) supported by PERFORM.

According to the Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), Serbia has had the highest income inequality in Europe in the last three years. In addition, 20% of Serbian population with the highest income earns as much as 9 times more than 20% of the poorest citizens, which is the highest gap in Europe. 

“Inequality, like cholesterol, can be good and bad. The presence of good inequality means the difference in the income of individuals is the result of the difference in their personal efforts and work. Whereas in the conditions of bad inequality, the gap is the result of unequal opportunities for all citizens to realise their full potential, which hinders the ability of a society to generate high national income”, said Prof. Jelena Zarkovic Rakic, director of the Foundation of the Advancement of Economics (FREN).

The first online issue of MONS deals with this important topic, its root causes and gives recommendations on how to address it. According to MONS, the main causes of high income inequality in Serbia are low scope and quality of employment, an education system that does not eliminate effects of socio-economic differences but rather deepens it, inadequate tax and social policy. In order to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, which is preventing Serbia’s development, the MONS authors suggest improving policies that contribute to higher employment, such as education policy, life-long learning, and active employment policies.

About MONS

Monitoring Social Situation in Serbia a web platform for promotion of research results on different socio-economic issues in Serbia. It is the result of a joint effort of two reputable think tanks - SeConS and FREN, which have carried out policy relevant analysis and research on socio-economic situation in Serbia during the last decade. PERFORM supported establishment and promotion of the platform in order to foster better communication of social science research results, knowledge sharing and exchange among different actors. 

For more details on PERFORM's support to MONS, click here.