Inequality is not Spain’s problem. Unemployment is

Spain has highest proportion of contracts of 6 months or less

Miguel Navascués | The winner of the recent elections, Pedro Sánchez, defined his objective in the previous debates with great precision: to end the increasing inequality in Spain. But inequality is not the main problem in Spain, it does not even have the nature of a problem. To begin, it is not increasing.

They are electoral tricks – which have given him excellent results, to call together social groups, like pensioners, in whose interest it is to provoke war against the rest of Spaniards, as each income group, when it wants to increase A major strategic error for a government, because sooner or later it will find itself strangled by unfulfillable promises. Between 1980 and 2017 the part receiving the lowest 40% of income has not lost any acquisitive power in relation to total income. Then, if distribution is not the problem, what is? The problem is the entire industrial structure which results in Spain´s unemployment being twice Europe´s, even in its best moments.

This spectacular unemployment rate (which only approached European levels thanks to the housing bubble), to which we have paid no attention, because we take it as given – evidence of which was its complete absence from the electoral debates – is the principle reason for the distribution of income in Spain. And that the distribution suffers no highs and lows in such a long period beings the good news that the policies of unemployment benefits work pretty well. But they are not enough, because the benefit will never be the same as the salary received by the recently unemployed.

About the Author

Miguel Navascués
Miguel Navascués has worked as an economist at the Bank of Spain for 30 years, and focuses on international and monetary economics. He blogs in Spanish at: http://