Top Risks to Governments and Economies
January 24, 2014
For this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center teamed up with other thought leaders to produce the Global Risks 2014 Report. The report was recently discussed in the Philly.com article, “What keeps the super-rich awake at night?”
As pointed out in the article, the number one concern of the people surveyed is, “Income inequality, which threatens social and political stability as well as economic development.” Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative Faculty Affiliate and executive director of Wharton’s Risk Management Center Professor Erwann Michel-Kerjan commented on the significance of these results. “People think about Davos in terms of ‘how can these people even talk about income disparity?’ That’s why the report is interesting. To the leaders of the world it talks about the implication of income inequality within the long-term, the next 5 or 10 years. We really haven’t had that discussion in America.”
Other top concerns of those surveyed included: increasing numbers of extreme weather events which cause massive damage to property, infrastructure and the environment; chronic unemployment, which coincides with a rising skills gap and high underemployment, especially among the young; climate change, specifically the failure of government and industry to take action to protect threatened people and businesses; the escalation of large-scale cyber-attacks.