Tackling Asia's Inequality: Creating Opportunities for the Poor | Asian Development Bank

Tackling Asia's Inequality: Creating Opportunities for the Poor

Publication | December 2008
Tackling Asia's Inequality: Creating Opportunities for the Poor

One worrisome trend in Asia is growing inequality - the rich are getting richer much faster than the poor. This issue of Development Asia was brought into sharp focus with the current financial turmoil, which is having a much greater impact on the poor than the rich.

How much should inequality be a cause for alarm, if at all? What are the implications of a widening social divide? Should governments do something - or nothing? The stories on this cover theme look at many aspects of a complex issue. Guest economists present the case for and against interventions toward social inclusion, though they tend to support policies that promote equal opportunity and access to good education and basic health services.

One of the issue's main stories looks at the role of globalization in increasing well-being at all levels of society, but it also notes that the well-to-do are better placed than the poor to take advantage of the opportunities that globalization offers. Contrasting profiles of India and the Philippines are provided. One shows how strong growth can create jobs for the poor despite structural inequalities. The other illustrates how even robust growth can fail to provide enough jobs because of structural inequalities.


  • Inclusive Growth: Why It is Important
  • Toward and Equal Future: Making Gender Equality a Reality
  • Coping with the Crisis
  • Asia's Delicate Balancing Act
  • Pilgrims of Progress
  • Few Options for Youth
  • New Entries Outstrip Jobs
  • Power to the Poor
  • Poor Often Can't Help Themselves
  • Humble But Gifted
  • Shifting Roles of SMEs
  • Land of Opportunity
  • The Great Divide
  • Mekong Media Makeover
  • Fortune at the Bottom
  • Toward Eco-Friendly Tourism
  • Can the Food Crisis Return?
  • News from the Bottom Up