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Poverty, transforming the cost of inaction

Session 13 Amphi 3 July 5, 2024 15:45 - 16:45

Overview

Poverty is a simple, seemingly unambiguous word, but it covers multiple, complex realities that cannot be easily aggregated or resolved. The many poverty eradication programs have proven this. Poverty is resilient to all simplistic accountability, aid programs, and the fight against inequality. It is a challenge facing all societies, a challenge that tends to be renewed, a never-ending struggle... quite simply because the causes of poverty are always present and renewed, be they illness, disability, misfortune, mistreatment, war, and so on. Failing to act, succumbing to the charms of simplistic utopias, giving up in the face of poverty's resilience - these attitudes are to be avoided, as they not only have an exorbitant human cost, but also a high social cost due to the dissolution of social ties that inevitably results. This session will focus on the complexity of this reality, which is only apparently unambiguous, and on the complexity of the fight against poverty. The discussion will highlight the various dimensions of this fundamental heterogeneity, as well as effective policies to combat poverty. Humility in the face of a complex reality, flexibility, and diversity in the face of a challenge that tends to continually renew itself: these are the key words that the session will aim to apply in different environments, with the aim of maintaining solid links between worlds pulled by centrifugal forces. Siberian winters, queues at food banks, unequal access to healthcare, employment, or housing: the different faces of poverty seem unacceptable to many citizens, and fighting poverty is becoming a moral imperative.

However, morality aside, shouldn't we also look at poverty in economic terms, by contrasting the "return on investment" of the cost of combating poverty with the policy of laissez-faire? Some politicians accuse anti-poverty policies of encouraging dependency and advocate minimal state intervention. What are the negative externalities of such measures? Conversely, if we think in terms of "payback", today's less privileged social classes could become tomorrow's workers, bringing economic gains to the State and society. Raising the minimum wage, increasing social benefits, incentive mechanisms for the activity bonus: is the fight against poverty a profitable strategy?


Speakers

Gilles BÉNÉPLANC
Chief Executive Officer
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Groupe Adelaïde
Bio
Garance GENICOT
Professor of Economics
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Georgetown University
Bio
Ashwini KAKKAR
President
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Action contre la Faim International
Bio
Marcelo NERI
Director & Founder
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Centre de Politiques Sociales de la Fondation Getulio Vargas
Bio
Angela SERRANO
Head of partnerships
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Movilizatorio
Bio

Coordinator

Philippe TRAINAR
Member
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Le Cercle des économistes
Bio

Moderator

Christophe AGNUS
Director of Publication
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Reporters d'Espoirs
Bio