A groundbreaking report by researchers Zsolt Darvas and Guntram B. Wolff of Bruegel, a leading think tank in Brussels, tracks changes in social mobility and inequality in Europe over the past few decades. The report is the first to combine in-depth research, detailed data and policy analysis with a focus on inclusive growth.
Their findings cast Europe in distinct contrast to the US, with less poverty and income inequality. However, they also find some disturbing trends in high youth unemployment and limited social mobility that, without business and government attention, could leave a generation behind.
We talked with the lead author, Zsolt Darvas, to dig deeper into the their findings.
What is the key takeaway for readers of your report?
Zsolt Darvas: The key message is that the social problems in Europe are very different from the US and Asia and Latin America. In Europe, inequality as a whole is not such a major issue. The same applies for poverty, which is rather low in the EU. That said, we have two major issues. One is unemployment and the other is social mobility, which varies a lot across EU countries. Southern Europe or the UK has low social mobility, for example.