An error occured. Details Hide
You have unsaved pages. Restore Cancel

A policy decision to increase public transport fares in Chile earlier this month triggered nearly two weeks of mass protests across Chile's largest cities, including the capital city of Santiago. While Chilean President Sebastián Piñera last week announced economic reforms to bring peace to the country - raising pensions, monthly minimum wages, and taxes on the wealthy - the socio-economic deficits of the country have been exposed and the youth mobilized.

Prosperity for Chile is real and measurable ... At the end of the 20th century, Chile carried out radical economic reforms. Through the fostering of private entrepreneurship, the rejection of protectionism, the reduction of state regulation and other measures, the Chilean government managed to perform a policy "miracle" in the shortest possible timeframe. Today, Chile is the most prosperous country in South America and is classified by the OECD as a "developed economy" based on its gross national income per capita and high human development index score. 

... but it is not universal. Despite outstanding general economic results, Chile continues to struggle with a variety of socio-economic problems, including the highest level of economic inequality among developed countries, a high level of dissatisfaction with health care and education services, and a troublesome marriage of high cost of living and one of the lowest minimum wage levels among OECD countries.

Chile's socio-economic shortfalls resonate especially deeply among the country's youth as they have never lived under a poor economy with a dictatorial regime and compare today's Chile with economic opportunities in other developed countries. The question now is how far and how fast will reforms come to the population that was mobilized by what the government now acknowledges was a poorly implemented policy adjustment.

Related Insights from Knoema

Wealth of the World's Richest People vs GDP of Countries

According to the 2016 Forbes Billionaires List, the aggregate wealth of the world's 1,810 billionaires is approximately $6.5 trillion, exceeding the GDP of Japan, the world's third largest economy with a GDP of $4.4 trillion. In other words, the wealth of 0.00002% of the world's population accounts for 9 percent of the world's GDP of about $74 trillion. How do we measure the net worth of a billionaire? The estimate is based on total asset value, including stakes in public and private companies, real estate, yachts, art and cash. If a person were a country, we'd measure GDP, which...

Inequality of Global Wealth

In 2016, just 1 percent of the world's population owned more than 50 percent of the world's wealth. According to the data from the Credit Suisse Research Institute, inequlity of world wealth continues to grow every year. The Institute's assessment is based on a global analysis of national wealth—defined as the value of the financial assets plus real estate (housing) owned by the households, less their debts—and use of the Gini Index, a traditional measure of income distribution and, thereby, inequality. As noted in the Institute’s report: About 3.5 billion people—or, 73 percent of...

What if the World's Wealthiest Gave Away Their Fortunes to the Poorest?

Every poor person in the United States would get a one-time payout of $1,736 if Bill Gates—the richest US citizen—distributed the total value of his assets equally among the US population living below the poverty line. This data is based on analysis from the Robin Hood Index, created by Bloomberg, which compares the net worth of the richest billionaires in 42 countries with the number of individuals below the national poverty line in those same countries to show the theoretical gain to the poor from the distribution of each country's wealthiest citizen. According to the most...

Measuring National Performance

Global economic and social systems are changing rapidly as a result of technology. The metrics that we use to measure national performance were primarily designed for the industrial economies of the early-mid 20th century. Gross domestic product (GDP), for example, is a measure of the value of final goods and services produced in a place over a time period. This may not be the best measurement in a economic system that is becoming increasingly digital and global, and it certainly does not holistically measure national prosperity. Performance measurement is important. Investors use...

Our Privacy Statement & Cookie Policy

Our website uses cookies to improve your online experience. They were placed on your computer when you launched this website. You can change your personal cookie settings through your internet browser settings.

Privacy Policy