The UB holds the XXVII Meeting on Public Economics, which is organized in a different Spanish city every year and this year it has been held in Barcelona, on January 23 and 24. Organized by the Barcelona Institute of Economics (IEB), and the Department of Economics of the UB, the opening session took place in the Paranimph of the Historical Building. The rector of the UB, Joan Elias, took part in the opening session, which treated topics such as how the economic crisis brought a clear increase of social inequalities after 2008.
Marta Espasa, secretary of Treasury from the Department of the Vice-presidency and Economics and Finance of the Catalan Government, put emphasis on this evidence and called researchers to provide solutions “for this challenge which is inequality, and give public agents the necessary tools for decision-taking”. In this sense, the rector Elias, and the dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business, Ramon Alemany, defended the importance of research on economy when providing answers to the problems that citizenship representatives have to face later.
In the plenary session, Luis Ayala, professor of Economics of the University Rey Juan Carlos, noted that “there are multiple consequences of inequality, and democracy is suffering from it”. Ayala, one of the members of the roundtable “Measures to reduce inequality and poverty”, noted, like other internationally distinguished economists, that “keeping high rates of inequality affects economic growth”. He also noted that “inequalities grow in times of crisis at a faster rhythm than their decrease in times of economic growth”.
Laura Hospido, head of the Microeconomic Analysis Unit at the Directorate-General of Economics and Statistics of the Bank of Spain, took place in the roundtable. With the obtained data she pointed out some of the factors that led to an increase of a wealth inequality in Spain: “The prudential saving carried out by those homes with a higher income, the decrease in percentage of homes that purchased property homes in the sector of lower-income households and the biggest fall of the average value of real assets compared to financial ones”.