“As we embark on this great collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.
Recognizing that the dignity of the human person is fundamental, we wish to see the goals and targets met for all nations and peoples and for all segments of society.
And we will endeavor to reach the furthest behind first.”
Source: General Assembly Resolution Sept. 25 2015
Infrastructure affects inequality of outcomes and opportunities through three main channels.
First, infrastructure that provides basic services such as water, sanitation and electricity may affect inequality depending on the quality, design, coverage, accessibility and distribution of that infrastructure.
Second, Infrastructure such as irrigation, electricity, ICT (information and communications technology – or technologies), and roads increase productivity and reduce trade costs, which affects the structural dynamics of the economy, including levels of income and distribution of jobs, and may have an effect on inequality. The
Third channel is through connectivity infrastructure such as roads and ICT, which affects the access of people to goods, services and job opportunities, and therefore may have an effect on inequality.
On the other direction of the interlinkage, inequality of outcomes affects infrastructure through its effect on the balance of political power and, consequently, government decisions and the involvement of private companies on the provision of basic services, including infrastructure.
Infrastructure affects resilience through its effect on access of people to goods, services and job opportunities, which have an effect on the ability of people to adapt to shocks. The quality, design, distribution, interrelation and operation of infrastructure also affect the resilience of the infrastructure itself, which has an effect of people’s resilience to economic, social and environmental shocks.
Infrastructure has historically been considered key to economic growth and development,but research on the link between infrastructure and inequality has shown a more nuanced story.
Econometric studies at the aggregate level have found that infrastructure development has positive effects reducing poverty and income inequality. However, the impacts of infrastructure on income inequality may differ based on the type of infrastructure and the income category into consideration. The mechanisms through which these effects operate remain relatively unexplored through econometric techniques.
Microeconomic studies that evaluate the impact of particular infrastructure interventions have found that physical infrastructure in roads and communications facilitates spatial access and information, raising labour mobility, advancing rural non-farm economies, and reducing the incidence of poverty in some geographic areas.
Other empirical studies have found that improved access to infrastructure services can raise the income of the poor through its impact on human capital, specically education and health outcomes, and that public infrastructure provides a boost for local community and market development.
Many studies have also assessed the impact of infrastructure on inequality through the effects of the former in increasing productivity and reducing trade costs, which affects the structure of the economy and the levels of income and distribution of jobs. A considerable share of that research focuses on the rural context. In general, development of infrastructure improves agricultural productivity and reduces rural poverty.
We help facilitate education of FDI opportunities into rural infrastructure to aid in the United Nations Millennium Goals.
Joshua D. Mosshart, MSFS, CHFC