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We are living in an era of mounting societal discontent and political divisiveness. In many countries, social disaffection with economic outcomes is up sharply, stoking populist and nationalist sentiment. Increasing income inequality is one important reason behind this sociopolitical tumult.

We are also living in an era of major technological change, led by the digital revolution. Today’s technological changes—advances in computer systems and software, mobile telephony, digital platforms, robotics, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and cyber-physical systems—are arguably unparalleled in their scope and speed.

Are these two megatrends of our time connected? The answer is yes. Digital technologies are reshaping the world of business and work in profound ways. Policies have been slow in adapting to the new dynamics. The interaction between technological change and market conditions as influenced by the prevailing policy environment has been a key factor driving income inequality higher. Disruptions caused by technological change have added to business and worker anxieties.

A more unequal distribution of income, however, is not an inevitable consequence of a digitizing world. Outcomes that are more inclusive are certainly possible with better, more responsive policies.

Rising Income Inequality amid Booming Digital Technologies

Income inequality has risen in practically all major advanced economies since the 1980s, a period of a rising boom in digital technologies…

Read the rest at the ‘Source of the original article’: The Brookings Institution (webfeeds.brookings.edu).
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