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International Inequalities Institute

 

The new International Inequalities Institute at LSE brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead critical and cutting edge research to understand why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges.

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The rise and fall of Africa’s bureaucratic bourgeoisie: public employment and the income elites of postcolonial Kenya and Tanzania -  new Working Paper by Rebecca Simson 

In 1961 Frantz Fanon scathingly characterised the emerging African elite as a bourgeoisie of the civil service. Many others have since described Africa’s public sector employees as a privileged rentier class that grew disproportionately large in relation to the continent’s under-developed private sector. Is this characterisation accurate? Using household budget survey and administrative data from Kenya and Tanzania, this paper aims to situate public sector employees in two African countries within their respective national income distributions and establish the share of high-income households that were headed by public servants. It finds that while public sector employees formed a considerable share of the top 1% - 0.1% at independence, their share of the broader middle class was never that large and fell substantially over the postcolonial era. 

Download paper (pdf)

 
Bev Skeggs

III welcomes Beverley Skeggs as Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows programme

We are thrilled to announce that Beverley Skeggs is to join the LSE as Academic Director of the III’s Atlantic Fellows programme from 1 September. She will be working closely with the III’s co-directors John Hills and Mike Savage, as well as the LSE’s wider academic community, to build the Atlantic Fellows programme and position the III as one of the world’s premier centres for the critical analysis of inequality.  

Read the full announcement here.

 
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New vacancy - Course Tutor (Atlantic Fellows programme)

The LSE’s International Inequalities Institute (III) is seeking to appoint a Course Tutor to provide intensive mentorship support to Atlantic Non-Residential and Residential Fellows throughout the course of their fellowships, ensuring that participants develop into a cohesive community of fellows, both during and beyond the programme.  The Course Tutor will work closely with the programme’s Academic Director in designing and delivering the curriculum for Non-Residential Fellows.

More information and how to apply here.

 
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III Annual Conference 2017 14th June - Save the date!

We are excited to announce that the International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2017 will be held on 14 June in the LSE's Sheikh Zayed Theatre.

The conference, entitled Challenging Inequalities: developing a global response, will host key speakers from academia and the third sector who will discuss concepts around racial, health, social and economic equity, alongside presentations from upcoming researchers and the presentation of the Action for Equity Award by George Alagiah, BBC. The conference will be followed by an evening debate which will explore how to ‘change the terms of the debate’ around inequalities.

Speakers will include:

  • john powell (Berkeley)
  • Amartya Sen (Harvard)
  • Mvuyo Tom (University of Fort Hare and Atlantic Fellows programme for Health Equity in South Africa)
  • Liz Sayce (Disability Rights UK)
  • Margaret Whitehead (University of Liverpool)
  • Faiza Shaheen (Centre for Labour and Social Studies)

Further information on how to get tickets will be available shortly.

 
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Working Paper 9 - Wealth, Top Incomes and Inequality by Frank Cowell, Brian Nolan, Javier Olivera and Philippe Van Kerm

Although it is heartening to see wealth inequality being taken seriously, key concepts are often muddled, including the distinction between income and wealth, what is included in "wealth", and facts about wealth distributions. This paper highlights issues that arise in making ideas and facts about wealth inequality precise, and employs newly-available data to take a fresh look at wealth and wealth inequality in a comparative perspective. The composition of wealth is similar across countries, with housing wealth being the key asset.  Wealth is considerably more unequally distributed than income, and it is distinctively so in the United States. Extending definitions to include pension wealth however reduces inequality substantially. Analysis also sheds light on life-cycle patterns and the role of inheritance. Discussion of the joint distributions of income and wealth suggests that interactions between increasing top income shares and the concentration of wealth and income from wealth towards the top is critical.

Download paper (pdf)

 
John Hills

"Our lives keep on changing - yet the welfare myth of 'them' and 'us' persists"

New blog post by Co-Director Professor John Hills on the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog

Public, media, and government discussions on welfare are dominated by the notion that the population is divided into those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay into it, despite the evidence painting a rather different picture. John Hills draws on the revised edition of his book "Good Times, Bad Times" to explain some of the implications of this welfare myth.

Read the blog post here.  

 
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Working Paper produced by the Department of Sociology at Oxford University, in collaboration with the III: 

The impact of benefit sanctioning on food insecurity: a dynamic cross-area study of food bank usage in the UK 

By Rachel Loopstra, Jasmine Fledderjohann, Aaron Reeves and David Stuckler

Household food security, which may be compromised by short-term income shocks, is a key determinant of health. Since 2012, the UK witnessed marked increases in the rate of ‘sanctions’ applied to unemployment insurance claimants, which stop payments to claimants for a minimum of four weeks. In 2013, over 1 million sanctions were applied, potentially leaving people facing economic hardship and driving them to use food banks. The paper tests this hypothesis by linking data from the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network with records on sanctioning rates across 259 local authorities in the UK. 

Download paper

 
Action for Equity Award 3

Applications for funding from the III Research Innovation Fund are now open

The III is pleased to announced that applications for funding from the III Research Innovation Fund Round Three (academic year 2017-2018) are now open. The Management Committee of the III will consider grant applications up to a maximum of £10,000 to support research and research-related activities related to any aspect of inequality, using research approaches appropriate to the applicant's disciplinary background. Grants are aimed for members of the academic staff of the LSE who are on a salary band 7 or above and whose continuous employment demonstrates a substantial long-term commitment to the School, and who would be employed for the duration of the grant.

Closing date for applications is 31 March 2017.

Further information can be found here, and in the application form.

 
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Apply for an Atlantic Visiting fellowship and fund your dream team of inequalities researchers

The Atlantic Visiting Fellowship is an exciting opportunity for teams of senior academics and practitioners to undertake a fully-funded period of intensive research at the LSE International Inequalities Institute. For more information and how to apply, see here.

 
Frank Cowell

Professor Frank Cowell appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economic Inequality

The III is delighted to announce that Professor Frank Cowell has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Economic Inequality.  The journal provides a forum for analysis and measurement of economic and social inequalities, using theoretical and empirical approaches. Among the topics considered are: differences within and between countries, and globally; inequalities of outcome and of opportunity, poverty, and mobility; univariate and multivariate approaches; differences between socioeconomic groups; the factor distribution of income; related statistical and data issues, and policy analysis.

 
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New Working Paper by Sudhir Anand and Paul Segal

This paper presents the first in-depth analysis of the changing composition of the global income rich and the rising representation of developing countries at the top of the global distribution. We construct global distributions of income between 1988 and 2012 based on both household surveys and the new top incomes data derived from tax records, which better capture the rich who are typically excluded from household surveys. We find that the representation of developing countries in the global top 1% declined until about 2002, but that since 2005 it has risen significantly. This coincides with a decline in global inequality since 2005, according to a range of measures. We compare our estimates of the country-composition and income levels of the global rich with a number of other sources – including Credit Suisse’s estimates of global wealth, the Forbes World Billionaires List, attendees of the World Economic Forum, and estimates of top executives’ salaries. To varying degrees, all show a rise in the representation of the developing world in the ranks of the global elite.

Download paper (pdf) 

 
Atkinson

Tribute to Tony Atkinson by Frank Cowell and Stephen Jenkins

Professors Frank Cowell and Stephen Jenkins pay tribute Professor Tony Atkinson, a great economist and social scientist who laid the foundations of so much of the inequality analysis that is used in the present day. Read the full tribute here.

 
Centre Buildings

LSE awarded £32 million by HEFCE

LSE has been awarded over £32 million through the Higher Education Funding Council for England's UK Research Partnership Investment fund (UKRPIF), which provides funding for capital projects that can attract significant investment from private partners. 

The HEFCE grant reflects the LSE’s success in attracting the Atlantic Philanthropies' funding for the Atlantic Fellows programme at the International Inequalities Institute.

The HEFCE funding will contribute to the development of the new Centre Buildings, which will house the International Inequalities Institute and the Atlantic Fellows programme. The new buildings will enable the Institute to expand its activities and work with other research centres and LSE departments to facilitate critical research on and innovative solutions to the challenge of inequalities.

See the full LSE press announcement here.

 
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Professor Nicola Lacey awarded a CBE for Services to Law, Justice and Gender Politics

The III is delighted to announce that Professor Nicola Lacey, School Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy, and member of the III Management Committee, has been awarded a CBE for Services to Law, Justice and Gender Politics.

From 1998 to 2010 she held a Chair in Criminal Law and Legal Theory at LSE. She returned to LSE in 2013 after spending three years as Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, and Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at the University of Oxford.

She is an Honorary Fellow of New College Oxford and of University College Oxford; a Fellow of the British Academy; and a member of the Board of Trustees of the British Museum. In 2011 she was awarded the Hans Sigrist Prize by the University of Bern for outstanding scholarship on the function of the rule of law in late modern societies.

 
Atkinson

Professor Sir Tony Atkinson (1944-2017)

The International Inequalities Institute is deeply saddened by Professor Tony Atkinson's death on New Year's Day. Professor Atkinson played a crucial role in the establishment of the III and continued to support our work. More importantly, he will be remembered as the economist worldwide who did the most through his illustrious career to ensure that inequality was given the attention that it deserves, making numerous theoretical and empirical breakthroughs in doing so.

You can listen to Professor Atkinson's public lecture on his most recent book 'Inequality: What can be done?', which was also the III's very first event, here. You can also download his working paper based on this lecture here.

See the STICERD 'wall of remembrance' for personal tributes to Tony Atkinson.

 
Michael C George

MSc graduate Michael George awarded the first Atkinson Prize

The International Inequalities Institute has established the Atkinson Prize for best overall performance in the MSc in Inequalities and Social Science.  The prize is named for Prof Tony Atkinson, LSE Centennial Professor, former Professor of Economics and Chair of LSE STICERD, who sadly passed away on New Year's Day. We were deeply honoured that he agreed to let his name be used for the prize. 

The first Atkinson prize has been awarded to Michael George who graduated in December 2017, who also shared the Hobhouse Memorial Prize for the best dissertation in the Sociology Department.

 
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Atlantic Fellowships - apply now

Applications for the new Atlantic Fellows programme for Social and Economic Equity at the International Inequalities Institute, based at LSE, have now opened. The programme is inviting applications from experienced activists, academics, policy makers and practitioners to explore the causes of inequalities wherever they are found and to challenge them with innovative, multi-disciplinary approaches.

The application forms are now available on the Atlantic Fellows programme page on the LSE website. You can apply for the Atlantic Residential Fellowship, where you will undertake the MSc in Inequalities and Social Sciences, the Atlantic Non-Residential Fellowship, which will involve a 12-18 month programme of week-long workshops and project work, or the Atlantic Visiting Fellowships, designed to fully support teams of three to four senior academics and practitioners to conduct intensive research projects.

Applications close for the Visiting Fellowships on the 23rd January 2016, and for the Residential and Non-Residential Fellowships on 31st January. For more information about each track, and to download the application forms, please visit the Atlantic Fellows programme webpage. If you have any questions please email afp@lse.ac.uk.

 
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Vacancy - Academic Director role for the Atlantic Fellows programme

We are looking to appoint the new Academic Director to lead the Atlantic Fellows programme. This is an outstanding opportunity for a senior public figure or academic to lead what is expected to become the world leading Fellowship programme devoted to tackling inequalities. 

The Atlantic Fellows programme will host 600 Fellows over the next 20 years, starting in summer 2017. These Atlantic Fellows will all be committed to addressing inequalities, with a particular concern to share experiences from different parts of the world, especially the global south. The Academic Director will work closely with the Deputy Director, allowing the Academic Director to lead on the strategic vision, networking, research and engagement activities which will be vital for the success of the Atlantic Fellow's programme. We anticipate this post will appeal to either a senior academic with a leading research profile and a public presence on inequality issues or to public figures, professionals and campaigners with a proven record of activism and leadership who have the capacity to direct this Fellowship Programme at LSE.

More information can be found on the Atlantic Fellows programme page. 

 
Celestin prize

Winner of the Popular Prize / LSE Research Festival 2016

Celestin Okoroji, associated with the III through the Leverhulme Trust Programme, was awarded the Popular Prize at the LSE Research Festival 2016 for his poster 'The Nadir of British Life: social representations of the unemployed'. The prize was voted for by Research Festival attendees and presented by Professor Mary Morgan. Celestin is currently conducting doctoral research into the relationship between the UK social representation of unemployed benefit claimants and its impact on their social identity and ability to find work.

 
Booth prize winners

Winners of the Booth Prize / LSE Research Festival 2016

This year's Research Festival was themed on poverty and inequality, to commemorate the centenary death of pioneering social scientist Charles Booth. Judged by Professor Nicola Lacey and Christopher Stephen, great-grandson of Charles Booth, the winners of the Booth Prize were BSc/BA students Tatiana Pazem, Sofia Lesur Kastelein, Sally Park, Robert Clark and Xinyang Li. Their headlined abstract was titled "Hipsters and Spikes: mapping gentrification and defensive architecture in Tower Hamlets". The judges felt that this work touched closely on both themes and methods featured in Charles Booth's pioneering work, combining state of the art mapping techniques with qualitative research to enhance our understanding of how inequality is produced in urban contexts.

 
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Working Paper 7: Gendering the elites: an ethnographic approach to elite women's lives and the re-production of inequality

This paper argues that the process by which accumulated capital is socialized and passed down the generations of the 'super-rich' is gendered in nature, heavily reliant on women, and currently under-researched. The author addresses this gap ethnographically, focusing on the gendered labour that women perform to sustain and reproduce the dynaist projects of elite families. In light of this data, elite London emerges as a social space structured around strong hierarchies not just of class but also gender. The paper concludes that it is essential to understand more about the interplay of these two structuring principles within elite spaces, focusing on the 'invisible' labour performed by elite women.

Download paper (pdf)

 
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III Working Paper 6: The measurement of health inequalities: does status matter?

This paper examines several status concepts to examine self-assessed health inequality using the sample of world countries contained in the World Health Survey.  The authors also perform correlation and regression analysis on the determinants of inequality estimates assuming an arbitrary cardinalisation.  The findings indicate major heterogeneity in health inequality estimates depending on the status approach, distributional-sensitivity parameter and measure adopted.  The authors find evidence that pure health inequalities vary with median health status alongside measures of government quality.

 
Sarah Voitchovsky

III Working Paper 5:  Top incomes and the gender divide

A new Working Paper by Tony Atkinson, Alessandra Casarico and Sarah Voitchovsky looks at the gender divide at the top of the income distribution in 8 countries with individual taxation.

 
International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016

Watch:  International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016

An international gathering of academics and policymakers to discuss inequality, our annual conference featured Thomas Piketty, Kimberlé Crenshaw (pictured), Kim Weeden, Facundo Alvardeo, Murray Leibbrandt, LSE MSc students and more on topics including intersectionality, income and wealth inequality, capital, and taxation.

Watch catch-up videos of the conference here

 
Professor Mike Savage

Atlantic Fellows programme

We are delighted to launch the III's Atlantic Fellows programme, a 20-year programme funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to support leaders tackling inequalities. This is an ambitious programme designed to build a global community of leaders dedicated to changing policy, practice and public dialogue around inequalities.

The Atlantic Fellows programme at the III is created with a grant of £64.4m from The Atlantic Philanthropies. This is the largest philanthropic donation in LSE’s history and will fund 600 Fellows over the next 20-years to study at the LSE and our partner institutions.

Find out more about the programme here

LSE Press Release: Atlantic Fellows programme

Click here for details of all Atlantic Fellows partnerships

 
Challenging Inequalities

Challenging Inequalities - Watch or Listen to the event now

This public debate at LSE following the International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016 explored different approaches to challenging inequality across the globe with Craig Calhoun, Shami Chakrabarti, Duncan Green, and Phumeza Mlungwana. Watch now

 
III Square

LSE Inequalities Publications Portal on the III website

The III connects research about inequality from across the LSE. Explore published research on inequality from leading academics in a range of subjects around the school. New publications added regularly: Search Publications now.

 
APPAM

2016 APPAM International Conference - Inequalities: Addressing the Growing Challenge for Policymakers Worldwide

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management 2016 conference was held at the III, an international conference of policy researchers and analysts from around the globe to share the latest research and knowledge on the pressing challenge on inequality.

 
 

Upcoming III Events

Joan Costa-i-Font

Inequalities Seminar: Health and Income Inequality Aversion: results from a UK survey experiment

25th April, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2 9.05

Speaker: Dr Joan Costa-i-Font (LSE Social Policy and European Institute)

More details coming soon.

 
Lutz Sager

Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy seminar

Would income redistribution result in higher aggregate emissions?

Thursday 27th April 2017, 12-1pm

Speaker: Lutz Sager (Grantham Research Institute)

Register here to attend.

 
Lisa Mckenzie

Inequalities Seminar: Post-Industrialisation in the East Midlands: ethnographic narratives from the communities that were thrown under the Brexit bus

Tuesday 2nd May, TW2 9.05, 12.30-1.45pm

Speaker: Dr Lisa Mckenzie (LSE Sociology)

Following a 4 month ethnographic study in the mining towns of the East Midlands funded by the International Inequalities Institute, Lisa Mckenzie will for the first time introduce the narratives and the images of those that since ‘Brexit’ have been described  as the ‘left behind’. This rhetoric of ‘the stupid’ ‘the ignorant’ and the ‘racist’ when speaking about in particular ‘the white working class’ has sharpened since the June 2016 European Referendum, when large parts of the de-industrialised north and midlands voted to ‘leave’. This seminar will use the voices, images and the landscape of the de-industrialised midlands to tell the narrative not of the ‘left behind’ but of a proud people, that were thrown under the Brexit bus.

 
Guy Standing

Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen

Monday 8th May, Old Theatre, Old Building, 6.30-8pm

Speaker: Professor Guy Standing (Professorial Research Associate at SOAS and honorary co-President of the Basic Income Earth Network)

Shouldn't everyone receive a stake in society's wealth? Could we create a fairer world by granting a guaranteed income to all? What would this mean for our health, wealth and happiness?

A basic income is a regular cash transfer from the state, received by all individual citizens. It is an acknowledgement that everyone plays a part in generating the wealth currently enjoyed only by a few. Political parties across the world are now adopting it as official policy and the idea generates headlines every day. Guy Standing has been at the forefront of thought about Basic Income for the past thirty years, and in in his latest book he covers in authoritative detail its effects on the economy, poverty, work and labour; dissects and disproves the standard arguments against basic income; explains what we can learn from pilot studies across the world and illustrates exactly why a basic income has now become such an urgent necessity.

 
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Inequalities Seminar: Intersecting inequalities and the Sustainable Development Goals: insights from Brazil

Tuesday 9th May, TW2 9.05, 12.30-1.45pm

Speaker: Professor Naila Kabeer (LSE Gender Institute and Department of International Development)

This talk uses national data from Brazil to explore how groups at the intersection of race, class, gender and spatial inequalities fared in relation to indicators of poverty, labor market engagement and well-being that have been highlighted by the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.  The analysis covers the period 2004 to 2013 when income inequality was declining in Brazil.  It therefore allows us to investigate how socially marginalized groups in the country  experienced this overall decline in inequality and to explore some of the explanations as to why and how. 

 
Max Koch

Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy seminar

Postgrowth and Wellbeing

Thurs 25th May 2017

Speakers: Prof Max Koch (Lund University) and Dr Milena Buchs (University of Leeds)

Register here to attend.

 
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Eva Colorni memorial lecture: A Village, a Country and the Discipline: economic development in Palanpur over seven decades.

7th June, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Co-hosted by the LSE III and Gender Institute

Speaker: Professor Nicholas Stern (IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at LSE and President of the British Academy)

Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen (Thomas W Lamont Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University)

Chair: Professor Naila Kabeer (Professor of Gender and Development at the LSE Gender Institute and at the Department of International Development)

Nicholas Stern reflects on insights offered from seven decades of research in Palanpur, an Indian village, for understanding the subject of economic development and prospects for India.

The event will be ticketed.

 
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III Annual Conference 2017:   Challenging Inequalities, Developing a Global Response

14th June, 9.30-17.30, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

Confirmed speakers:

  • George Alagiah (BBC and Chair of jury for the inaugaral Action for Equity Award)
  • Lynn Freedman (Professor in Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center)
  • Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett
  • john a powell (University of Berkeley, author of Racing to Justice)
  • Mike Savage (LSE Sociology and III)
  • Faiza Shaheen (Director of the Centre for Labour and Social Studies)
  • Mvuyo Tom (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare, South Africa)
  • Jane Waldfogel (Colombia University and LSE CASE)
  • Liz Sayce (Disability and Rights UK)

More speakers to be confirmed.

The annual conference of III and Atlantic Fellows programme for Social and Economic Equity will debate topics including social mobility, health, racial and ethnic inequalities.

The event will be ticketed.

 
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Inequalities: changing the terms of the debate

14th June, 2017, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, 6.30-8pm

Confirmed speakers: Jee Kim (Atlantic Fellows programme) and Katy Wright (Head of Global External Affairs at Oxfam), Amartya Sen (Thomas W. Lamont University Professor, Harvard University)

More speakers to be confirmed.

Inequalities is a common, if often unstated, theme in the news. How the causes and consequences of inequalities are presented matters, so how do we change the current narratives?

The event will be ticketed.

 
Branko Milanovic

The Evolution of Global Inequalities: the impact on politics and the economy

5th July 2017, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, 6.30-8pm

Speaker: Professor Branko Milanovic

Chair: Professor Mike Savage

Branko Milanovic will discuss the recent evolution in global inequality and focus on the political implications of the important changes in the global distribution of income.

Branko Milanovic is Senior Scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center and Visiting Presidential Professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Mike Savage is Martin White Professor and Co-Director of the LSE International Inequalities Institute. 

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

 
Watch and listen to previous III events.
Michele Lamont

Addressing recognition gaps: destigmatization processes and the making of inequality

Speaker: Michèle Lamont (Harvard University)

This talk brought together three lines of research focused on destigmatization processes (as they pertain to African Americans, people with HIV-AIDs, and the obese); cultural processes feeding into inequality; and recognition gaps experienced by white working-class men in the United States and France, and stigmatized groups in Brazil, Israel, and the United States. From these studies, Michèle Lamont proposed an agenda for the empirical analysis of recognition, which she views as an essential but largely missing dimension to the study of inequality.

Download video

 
Polly Vizard

Older peoples' experiences of dignity and nutritional support during hospital stays

Speaker: Dr Polly Vizard (LSE CASE)

Concern about older people's experiences of healthcare has moved up the political and public policy agendas in the wake of the Independent and Public Inquiries into Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. However, quantitative analysis of the available patient experience data remains limited and the statistical evidence base on inequalities even more so. In this talk, Dr Polly Vizard presented findings from a new study that provides in-depth nationally representative quantitative evidence on older people’s experiences of poor and inconsistent standards of treatment with dignity and respect, and support with eating, during hospital stays using the Adult Inpatient Survey. The study highlights how older age interacts with gender and disability as a driver of inpatient experience, considers the role of socio-economic disadvantage, and makes specific recommendations on how to build inequalities analysis into national frameworks for healthcare monitoring, inspection and regulation.

Download podcast 

 
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Inequalities Seminar: Regional Inequality and Preferences for Market-Promoting Land Law Reform: Kenya Pilot Study

Speaker: Professor Catherine Boone (LSE Departments of Government and International Development)

This seminar was based on a project that, leveraging the results of an III-supported pilot project on land law reform in Kenya since 2013, seeks to understand the effects of spatial (regional) inequalities on political struggles over the commodification of land in African countries. Catherine Boone frames the problem of land law reform as one of redistributive politics in territorially-fragmented polities and develops an analytic strategy that draws upon research on the politics of social entitlements in developed and developing countries.

Download podcast / listen here

 
Piketty Opportunity Avner Offer

The Piketty Opportunity

Speakers: Patricia Hudson (Emeritus Professor Cardiff University), Avner Offer (Chichele Professor of Economic History, Oxford University) and Keith Tribe (Independent Scholar)

Discussants:  Professor Torben Iversen (Harvard University, Centenial Professor LSE) and Dr Tasha Fairfield (LSE International Development)

Chair:  Professor Mike Savage (Co-Director of the III, Martin White Professor of Sociology at LSE)

This event marked the publication of The Contradictions of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, a volume of essays that builds upon the renewed interest in wealth and inequality stimulated by the work of Thomas Piketty. Editors and authors Patricia Hudson, Avner Offer and Keith Tribe joined with associates of the International Inequalities Institute to discuss the analysis of inequality in an international context.

Download video / watch here

 
Asma Jahangir 1

Religious Intolerance and its Impact on Democracy

STICERD Amartya Sen Lecture

Speaker: Asma Jilani Jahangir

Discussant: Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University)

Chair: Professor Chetan Bhatt (LSE Human Rights Centre and Sociology Department)

Asma Jilani Jahangir is a Pakistani human rights lawyer and activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Her talk focused on how government failure to address the questions of religious intolerance and free expression dilutes the principles of democracy, equality and justice, particularly for women and religious minorities. Religious intolerance gives rise to religious militancy, which further undermines democratic principles as national security measures come into play. In the process of combating religious tensions, the challenge today is to protect democratic principles and values rather than dilute them.

Download video / watch here

 
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Who are the Global Top 1%?

Tuesday 17th January, 9.05, 12.30-1.45pm

Speaker: Dr Paul Segal (Senior Lecturer in Economics at Kings College London, Visiting Fellow at the III)

This seminar presented findings from the paper with the same title, representing the first in-depth analysis of the changing composition of the global rich and the rising representation of developing countries at the top of the global distribution. The authors construct global distributions of income between 1988 and 2012 based on both household surveys and the new top incomes data derived from tax records, in order to capture the rich who are typically excluded from household surveys. They find that the representation of developing countries in the global top 1% declined until about 2002, but that since 2005 it has risen significantly. This coincides with a salient decline in global inequality since 2005, according to a range of measures. The authors compare their estimates of the country-composition and income levels of the global rich with a number of other sources – including Credit Suisse’s estimates of global wealth, the Forbes World Billionaires List, attendees of the World Economic Forum, and estimates of top executives’ salaries. To varying degrees, all show a rise in the representation of the developing world in the ranks of the global elite.

Download audio / Download video / Slides (pdf) 

 
Robert Frank lecture

Success and Luck: good fortune and the myth of meritocracy

Wednesday 7th Dec 2016, 6.30-8pm

Speaker: Prof Robert H. Frank (Cornell University)
Discussants: Prof Nicola Lacey (LSE) and Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP
Chair: Prof John Hills (LSE)

How important is luck in economic success? As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hard-working. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In this talk about his new book, Success and Luck: good fortune and the myth of meritocracy, Robert Frank explored the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success - and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy.

Video recording available here.

 
Anthony Shorrocks

Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report 2016

Wed 23rd Nov

Speaker:  Anthony Shorrocks (Global Economic Perspectives; World Institute of Development Economics Research)
Discussants: Dr Abigail McKnight (LSE) and Deborah Hardoon (Oxfam)
Chair: Prof John Hills (LSE)

Drawing on Credit Suisse data, Oxfam created worldwide headlines this year with the claim that 62 people own the same as half the world. To mark the publication of the Global Wealth Report 2016, Anthony Shorrocks explained the basis of Credit Suisse data and summarised the current evidence on the level, distribution and trends of household wealth in all regions and countries of the world since 2000.

Video recording available here

 
Nicola Lacey Booth

Charles Booth Centenary Lectures 

Thursday November 3rd

Speakers: Mary Morgan   (LSE Economic History Dept), Alan Manning (LSE Economics Dept), Stephen Machin (LSE Centre for Economic Performance), Fran Tonkiss (LSE Sociology Dept), Suzi Hall (LSE Cities), Anne Power (LSE Social Policy Dept), Emily Grundy (LSE Social Policy Dept), Tim Newburn (Social Policy Dept) and John Hills (LSE International Inequalities Institute and Social Policy Dept).

This event, which coincided with the LSE Research Festival 2016, was part of a wider LSE celebration of pioneering social scientist Charles Booth, who died in 1916, and whose original survey into life and labour in London is held in the LSE Library.

Booth's investigation of poverty in London provides a key example both of the creative development of social science and of the ways in which research may be used to have a positive impact on society. The event brought together a group of scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the substance of Booth's ideas as well as his broader legacy for the social sciences and for contemporary social analysis.

Video recording available here.

 
Ian Gough

Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy

Speaker: Prof Ian Gough (CASE)

Thurs 3 Nov 2016

Download paper

Listen to podcast

 
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Inequalities seminar series

International Inequalities Institute / Sociology Department

The Organizational Production of Earnings Inequalities

Speaker: Prof Donald Tomaskovic-Devey (UMASS)

Tues 25th Oct

Organisations raise capital, hire, produce, sell and distribute surplus, generating the intial distributions of income from which all other income inequalities follow. But what drives workplace inequality levels and trends?

See slides (pdf) 

Download video recording

 
taxing the rich

Taxing the Rich: a history of fiscal fairness in the United States and Europe

Speaker: Prof David Stasavage

Chair: Prof David Soskice

In today's social climate of growing inequality, why are there not greater efforts to tax the rich? David Stasavage asks when and why countries tax their wealthiest citizens.

Slides (pdf)

 
APPAM

2016 APPAM International Conference - Inequalities: Addressing the Growing Challenge for Policymakers Worldwide

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management 2016 conference was held at the III, an international conference of policy researchers and analysts from around the globe to share the latest research and knowledge on the pressing challenge on inequality.

 
Challenging Inequalities

Challenging Inequalities

This public debate at LSE following the International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016 explored different approaches to challenging inequality across the globe with Craig Calhoun, Shami Chakrabarti, Duncan Green, and Phumeza Mlungwana.

 
International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016

International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016

An international gathering of academics and policymakers to discuss inequality, our annual conference featured Thomas Piketty, Kimberlé Crenshaw (pictured), Kim Weeden, Facundo Alvardeo, Murray Leibbrandt, LSE MSc students and more on topics including intersectionality, income and wealth inequality, capital, and taxation.

 
Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

MacArthur 'Genius' award winning ethnographer Matthew Desmond speaks about his investigation into the low-income rental market and eviction in privately owned housing, and argues it is a cause, not just a symptom, of poverty.

 
Ruth Levitas

Utopia in the Twenty-first Century

Five hundred years ago Thomas More’s Utopia was published, but what is its relevance today? Ruth Levitas argues that what is important about More is less the substance than the method: Utopia should be regarded not as a plan, but as a method of exploring potential futures. Part of LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2016.

 
Standing-Out

Standing Out: Transgender Candidates Around the World

At this event transgender candidates from around the world shared their experience of running for office, and academics discussed how increased visibility increases acceptance.

 
Social Class in the 21st Century

Social Class in the 21st Century

Mike Savage and the team of sociologists responsible for the Great British Class Survey  discussed their findings and proposed a new way of thinking about social class in Britain today, arguing that while the class war was over the new politics of class are only just beginning. This event also saw the launch of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Poverty and Inequalities Programme.

 
Jane Waldfogel

Too Many Children Left Behind

Jane Waldfogel of Columbia University explains her work as part of a team of social scientists who compared educational outcomes and their link to family socio-economic status across the English speaking world. Their striking findings include that much inequality is present before children start school. Joint event with CASE.

 
Conference

Elites and Urban Dynamics: New Perspectives Conference

A one-day seminar funded by the ESRC Alpha Territory project, in association with the LSE International Inequalities Institute, organised by Rowland Atkinson (University of Sheffield), Roger Burrows (Goldsmiths) and Mike Savage (LSE). 

 
Stiglitz

The Great Divide with Joseph E. Stiglitz

Why has inequality increased in the Western world and what can we do about it? Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz suggests ways to counter this growing problem.

 
Piketty

Inequality in the 21st Century Conference with Thomas Piketty

A day long conference with Thomas Piketty, Centennial Professor at the III whose Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been of global significance in shaping debates about inequality. This joint conference with the LSE Department of Sociology and the British Journal of Sociology was the official launch of the III.

 
Atkinson

Inequality: What can be done?

World leaders have come to recognise the importance of income inequality but the consensus remains that 'nothing can be done'. Professor Sir Tony Atkinson argues that present levels of inequality are not inevitable and that there are concrete measures to be taken to tackle inequality.

 
Inter-disciplinary teaching associated with the III. 

MSc Inequalities and Social Science

As a result of dramatic economic and social changes over recent years, the study of inequality has rapidly developed as one of the most important areas of inter-disciplinary social scientific study.

This MSc offers a comprehensive and wide-ranging programme which includes expertise from leading academics across LSE. Find out more.

Leverhulme Trust Scholarships and Programme

The Leverhulme Trust has awarded LSE with 15 doctoral scholarships, five per year for the next three years, worth £1 million for students to undertake interdisciplinary research on 'the challenge of escalating inequalities'. Find out more.

Alongside the Scholarships, the III also runs the Leverhulme Trust Programme. The overarching aim of the programme is to increase our understanding of the mechanisms that link the economic dimensions of inequality with their social, cultural and political dimensions at the global level. Find out more.

 
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