Universitat de Barcelona logotipo

Academics corroborate with data that the period of crisis led to an increase in social inequalities among the Spanish population

  • Experts also point out that the increase in the inequality in periods of crisis is markedly higher than the reduction that occurs during periods of economic growth

Barcelona, 23 January 2020.- The crisis which Spain suffered since the year 2008 led to a clear increase in social inequalities. The data have been presented by the experts participating in the XXVII Meeting of Public Economy, which has been organised by the Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB) and the Department of Economics at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), is held today and tomorrow at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB).

Marta Espasa, Secretary of Treasury of the Ministry of the Vice-Presidency and of the Economy and Finance of the Generalitat de Catalunya, echoed this evidence in her keynote address and appealed to researchers to provide solutions to “the challenge of the inequality, thus providing public officials with the necessary tools for making decisions“.

In the same vein, the rector of the UB, Joan Elijah, and the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the UB, Ramon Alemany, emphasized the importance of the task of researchers in economics in giving answers to the problems that eventually need to be addressed by the people’s representatives.

Inequality and its Consequences

During the plenary session, Luis Ayala, Professor of Economics at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, showed that “the consequences of inequality are multiple and democracy itself suffers“. Ayala, who has been one of the members of the round table “Measures to reduce inequality and poverty“, stated – in line with other leading international economists – that “remaining in an environment of high rates of inequality affects economic growth“. He also pointed to the fact that “the rate of inequality grows in periods of crisis, faster than it can be reduced in times of economic expansion“.

Laura Hospido (Chief of the Division of Microeconomic Analysis of the Directorate General of Economics and Statistics of the Bank of Spain) also participated in the round table, and based on data collected, pointed to some of the factors that have led to the increase in the inequality of wealth in Spain: “the prudential savings by the highest-income households, the fall in the percentage of home ownership in the lowest-income segment, and the largest fall in the median value of real versus financial assets“.