Addressing inequality: The first step beyond COVID-19 and towards sustainability

Published on Jul 3, 2020in Sustainability3.251
· DOI :10.3390/SU12135404
Nicholas A. Ashford29
Estimated H-index: 29
Ralph P. Hall11
Estimated H-index: 11
+ 2 AuthorsAmy L. Showalter1
Estimated H-index: 1
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted billions of lives across the world and has revealed and worsened the social and economic inequalities that have emerged over the past several decades. As governments consider public health and economic strategies to respond the crisis, it is critical they also address the weaknesses of their economic and social systems that inhibited their ability to respond comprehensively to the pandemic. These same weaknesses have also undermined efforts to advance equality and sustainability. This paper explores over 30 interventions across the following nine categories of change that hold the potential to address inequality, provide all citizens with access to essential goods and services, and advance progress towards sustainability: (1) Income and wealth transfers to facilitate an equitable increase in purchasing power/disposable income; (2) broadening worker and citizen ownership of the means of production and supply of services, allowing corporate profit-taking to be more equitably distributed; (3) changes in the supply of essential goods and services for more citizens; (4) changes in the demand for more sustainable goods and services desired by people; (5) stabilizing and securing employment and the workforce; (6) reducing the disproportionate power of corporations and the very wealthy on the market and political system through the expansion and enforcement of antitrust law such that the dominance of a few firms in critical sectors no longer prevails; (7) government provision of essential goods and services such as education, healthcare, housing, food, and mobility; (8) a reallocation of government spending between military operations and domestic social needs; and (9) suspending or restructuring debt from emerging and developing countries. Any interventions that focus on growing the economy must also be accompanied by those that offset the resulting compromises to health, safety, and the environment from increasing unsustainable consumption. This paper compares and identifies the interventions that should be considered as an important foundational first step in moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and towards sustainability. In this regard, it provides a comprehensive set of strategies that could advance progress towards a component of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 10 to reduce inequality within countries. However, the candidate interventions are also contrasted with all 17 SDGs to reveal potential problem areas/tradeoffs that may need careful attention.
ūüďĖ Papers frequently viewed together
#1Tilman Hartley (Autonomous University of Barcelona)H-Index: 1
#2Jeroen C.J.M. van den Bergh (Autonomous University of Barcelona)H-Index: 60
Last. Giorgos Kallis (Autonomous University of Barcelona)H-Index: 36
view all 3 authors...
GDP growth is declining in industrial economies, and there is increasing evidence that growth may be environmentally unsustainable. If growth falls below returns to wealth then inequalities increas...
#1Thomas Wiedmann (UNSW: University of New South Wales)H-Index: 60
#2Manfred Lenzen (USYD: University of Sydney)H-Index: 89
Last. Julia K. Steinberger (University of Leeds)H-Index: 41
view all 4 authors...
For over half a century, worldwide growth in affluence has continuously increased resource use and pollutant emissions far more rapidly than these have been reduced through better technology. The affluent citizens of the world are responsible for most environmental impacts and are central to any future prospect of retreating to safer environmental conditions. We summarise the evidence and present possible solution approaches. Any transition towards sustainability can only be effective if far-rea...
#1Jason Hickel (Goldsmiths, University of London)H-Index: 18
#2Giorgos Kallis (Autonomous University of Barcelona)H-Index: 36
ABSTRACTThe notion of green growth has emerged as a dominant policy response to climate change and ecological breakdown. Green growth theory asserts that continued economic expansion is compatible ...
#1Osman Gulseven (Skyline University College)H-Index: 6
#2Fatima Al Harmoodi (Skyline University College)H-Index: 1
Last. Ibrahim ALshomali (Skyline University College)H-Index: 1
view all 4 authors...
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to achieve sustainable development for the service of all humanity. These 17 goals are adopted in 2015 by the member states to support many aspects of human development while addressing environmental issues. The SDGs rely on the partnerships of all member countries for the success of these goals. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed the current state of global development. In this article, we analyze how the current pandemic...
#1David H. Autor (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 75
#2David Dorn (UZH: University of Zurich)H-Index: 29
Last. John Van Reenen (MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology)H-Index: 97
view all 5 authors...
The fall of labor's share of GDP in the United States and many other countries in recent decades is well documented but its causes remain uncertain. Existing empirical assessments of trends in labor's share typically have relied on industry or macro data, obscuring heterogeneity among firms. In this paper, we analyze micro panel data from the U.S. Economic Census since 1982 and international sources and document empirical patterns to assess a new interpretation of the fall in the labor share bas...
The Coronavirus outbreak of 2019-20 has left governments, markets, and civil society reeling through disruptions and damage that shall heal at differing intervals and to differing degrees around the world. The post-Coronavirus economy and polity may, however, be designed and structured based on lessons drawn from the outbreak, as well as on international reactions to the hardships that ensued in its wake. This paper raises 7 points of discussion for international policymakers as the outbreak sub...
#1John A. Kaufman (Emory University)H-Index: 5
#2Leslie Salas-Hern√°ndez (Emory University)H-Index: 3
Last. Melvin D. Livingston (Emory University)H-Index: 17
view all 4 authors...
Background Social welfare policies such as the minimum wage can affect population health, though the impact may differ by the level of unemployment experienced by society at a given time. Methods We ran difference-in-differences models using monthly data from all 50 states and Washington, DC from 1990 to 2015. We used educational attainment to define treatment and control groups. The exposure was the difference between state and federal minimum wage in US$2015, defined both by the date the state...
#1Ranjula Bali Swain (HHS: Stockholm School of Economics)H-Index: 19
#2Fan Yang Wallentin (Uppsala University)H-Index: 9
ABSTRACTThe ambitious United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been criticized for being universal, broadly framed, inconsistent and difficult to quantify, implement and monitor. We...
#1Simone D'Alessandro (UniPi: University of Pisa)H-Index: 7
#2Andre Cieplinski (UniPi: University of Pisa)H-Index: 3
Last. Kristofer DittmerH-Index: 3
view all 4 authors...
Climate change and increasing income inequality have emerged as twin threats to contemporary standards of living, peace and democracy. These two problems are usually tackled separately in the policy agenda. A new breed of radical proposals have been advanced to manage a fair low-carbon transition. In this spirit, we develop a dynamic macrosimulation model to investigate the long-term effects of three scenarios: green growth, policies for social equity, and degrowth. The green growth scenario, ba...
Cited By25
The COVID-19 pandemic affected every functioning system in the United States. Workers deemed ‚Äúessential‚ÄĚ faced multiple threats to their well-being that quickly led to acute symptoms of anxiety, depression, burnout, and overall exhaustion, and organizations were challenged to devise employee protocols to maintain sustainability. This qualitative study takes a tension-centered approach to discern how ‚Äúessential workers‚ÄĚ in the United States navigated this tenuous work landscape, particularly with...
#1Magnus Bostr√∂m (√Ėrebro University)H-Index: 27
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant restrictions on lifestyles and consumption everywhere. Many consumer practices have been disrupted due to the shutting down of economic and social activities, limiting of mobility in public places, closing of shopping centers and non-essential stores, and closing of borders. These restrictions have had a significant impact on climate emissions. Much public and scholarly attention has been given to the question of whether the pandemic also offers a win...
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a myriad of challenges and opportunities and has influenced the modern concept of sustainability as projected into the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the underlying multi-stakeholder model. The new generation of consumers, Generation Z, has progressively increased its participation in the market and its shopping trends have been impacting the entire CSR scenery. However, little is known about their attitudes, consumption preferences and expectations. In S...
This article analyses the situation that prevailed in 12 dwellings located on the outskirts of Madrid during Spain’s state of emergency. How did 24/7 occupation affect the quality of indoor air and power consumption patterns? The mixed method used (surveys and instrumental monitoring) pragmatically detected the variation in consumption, comfort and indoor air quality patterns before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. The characteristics initially in place and household predisposition had a conclu...
During spring 2020, the world was shocked at the imminent global spread of SARS-CoV-2, resorting to measures such as domestic confinement. This meant the reconfiguration of life in an unusual space; the home. However, not all households experienced it in the same way; many of them were vulnerable. A general increase in energy consumption and discomfort in many cases, led these families to suffer the ravages of confinement. This study analyzes the energy and comfort situation for the Madrid (Spai...
#1Meisam Ranjbari (Henan Agricultural University)H-Index: 4
#2Zahra Shams Esfandabadi (Polytechnic University of Turin)H-Index: 5
Last. Meisam Tabatabaei (Henan Agricultural University)H-Index: 60
view all 9 authors...
Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has immensely impacted the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainability in human lives. Due to the scholars' increasing interest in responding to the urgent call for action against the pandemic, the literature of sustainability research considering the COVID-19 consequences is very fragmented. Therefore, a comprehensive review of the COVID-19 implications for sustainability practices is still lacking. This research aims to analyze the effects of CO...
#1Neena Modi (ICL: Imperial College London)H-Index: 63
#2Mark A. HansonH-Index: 107
Neena Modi and Mark Hanson argue that new economic policies focusing on the wellbeing of women and children will produce a fairer, stronger, and more resilient society
#1Rémi Duflot (University of Jyväskylä)H-Index: 10
#2Stefan Baumeister (University of Jyväskylä)H-Index: 5
Last. M√°ria PotterfH-Index: 6
view all 8 authors...
COVID-19 crisis has emphasized how poorly prepared humanity is to cope with global disasters. However, this crisis also offers a unique opportunity to move towards a more sustainable and equitable future. Here, we identify the underlying environmental, social, and economic chronic causes of the COVID-19 crisis. We argue in favour of a holistic view to initiate a socio-economic transition to improve the prospects for global sustainability and human well-being. Alternative approaches to "Business-...
#1Richard Fenner (University of Cambridge)H-Index: 23
#2Thomas Cernev (ANU: Australian National University)H-Index: 1
Abstract Global responses to COVID-19 will impact on delivery of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, creating large uncertainties just at the time efforts need to be accelerated. This paper explores how COVID-19 could impact the success of meeting the targets with priority given to the four ‚Äėfoundational‚Äô goals: SDG 1 No Poverty; SDG3 Good Health; SDG 14 Life Below Water and SDG 15 Life on Land as these are critical in maintaining a healthy human and environmental resource base on whic...
This website uses cookies.
We use cookies to improve your online experience. By continuing to use our website we assume you agree to the placement of these cookies.
To learn more, you can find in our Privacy Policy.