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Introduction to Islamic Economics: Theory and Application by Abbas Mirakhor, Zamir Iqbal, Hossein Askari

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Chapter 13Economic and Social Welfare

  1. The need for a comprehensive social safety net.
  2. The essential elements of safety nets.
  3. Ethical principles and institutional measures.
  4. The distinguishing features of the Islamic perspective on economic and social welfare.
  5. The role of government in providing safety nets.

While over the last few decades the international community has adopted the position that broad-based economic growth is necessary for stemming the effects of systemic poverty, a growing consensus has emerged that social safety nets and social protection are also essential elements of any comprehensive framework for poverty alleviation. Not only are provisions that provide basic services, such as healthcare and education, important in their own right, but they are also critical drivers for economic growth and development and an equitable distribution of income and wealth. An adequate social safety net is a central feature of the Islamic economic system and is even more imperative in countries that generate a significant percentage of their current revenues from society's depleting oil and gas reserves. A recent paper confirms that although growth has reduced poverty in Asia, it has been accompanied by increasing inequality (less inclusive than some suggest). The authors go on to suggest a number of policies to support more inclusive growth (reduce poverty more and decrease inequality):

In terms of fiscal policy, these include higher spending on health ...

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