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22 March 2012

TARKI hosts OECD report release event - Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising

TARKI Social Research Institute, a frequent contributor to various OECD reports, recently hosted the latest OECD report release event for Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising. On March 22, at Európa Kávéhéz, with introduction by István György TÓTH (Director, Tarki Social Research Institute), Dr. Michael Förster (Senior Policy Analyst: Income Distribution and Poverty, OECD) and Dr. Márton Medgyesi (Researcher, Tarki Social Research Institute) discussed how the gap between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level for over 30 years, and governments must act quickly to tackle inequality, according this new report.

The report, press material, and a selection of tables can be found at: and

Divided We Stand – Why Inequality Keeps Rising Dr. Michael Förster (Senior Policy Analyst: Income Distribution and Poverty, OECD)

In the three decades to the recent economic downturn, wage gaps widened and household income inequality increased in a large majority of OECD countries. This occurred even when countries were going through a period of sustained economic and employment growth. A new OECD report – Divided we Stand: Why inequality keeps rising – analyses the major underlying forces behind these developments. The presentation will summarise the main findings and highlight the key messages from this report. Divided we Stand examines to which extent globalisation, technological progress and institutional and regulatory reforms have had an impact on the distribution of earnings. The report further provides evidence of how changes in family formation and household structures have altered household earnings and income inequality. And it documents how tax and benefit systems have changed in the ways they redistribute household incomes. The report also discusses which policies are most promising to counter increases in inequalities. *Dr. Förster is the lead author of this OECD report.

Income Distribution and Living Difficulties During the Economic Crisis in Hungary Dr. Márton Medgyesi (Researcher, Tarki Social Research Institute)

The presentation covered possible effects of the economic crisis on income distribution and on household well-being in Hungary, through the results of the latest wave of the Tárki Household Monitor Survey conducted in 2010. Employment declined substantially during the crisis year 2009, which resulted in significant income loss for the households concerned. Households were also affected by the unfavourable movement of Forint exchange rates, which led to an unexpected increase in repayment instalments on mortgages and other foreign currency denominated loans. The survey permitted analysis of both the effect of rising unemployment on incomes and the effect of the crisis on indebtedness of households.*Márton Medgyesi is the Hungarian correspondent to the OECD for the income distribution studies.