"Inequality and...?" Lectures

The purpose of the "Inequality and ...?" lecture series is to provide a forum where the research community, the private and public sectors and the general public in Luxembourg can gather around a theme which researchers have traditionally associated with this country, namely, income studies in a broad sense. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) was created in 1983. LIS has become the leading cross-sectional database of micro-economic income data for social science research. Today it benefits from a worldwide reputation.

The unifying thread of the lectures is the concept of inequality, that is, differences in the distribution of some attributes, such as income and wealth, among the population. Each lecture tackles the links between these differences and a central social phenomenon. Each lecture is a source of inspiration for an audience with different levels of expertise, ranging from a general educational level through BAs in social sciences to accomplished researchers.

The PEARL team has established the lecture series in collaboration with the Chambre des Salariés, CREA, the Economists Club of Luxembourg, the European Investment Bank Institute (EIB Institute), the European Commission, the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR)LIS, LISER and STATEC.

 

Upcoming: Inequality and ...?

Inequality and Fairness, 23 November 2016, Bertil Tungodden, Norvegian School of Economics, Norway

 

  

 

Inequality and GDP, 20 December 2016, Robert Inklaar, University of Groningen, the Netherlands  

 

 

 

Inequality and Inequity, 18 January 2017, François Bourguignon, Paris School of Economics, France 

 

 

 

Inequality and Child Development, 23 February 2017, Ariel Kalil, University of Chicago, USA

 

 

 

Inequality and ... , 22 March 2017, Benjamin Moll, Priceton University, USA

 

 

 

 

Our Past Lectures (in reverse chronological order since 2013) 

 

Inequality and the Great Gatsby Curve

Miles Corak, University of Ottawa
21 June 2016

We should care about inequality because it has the potential to shape opportunities for the next generation.

This presentation offers a framework for thinking about this relationship, and for understanding why the adult outcomes of children are more closely tied to their family background—with the poor raising the next generation of poor adults, and the rich more likely to see their children to be rich in adulthood—in countries with greater inequality.

Differences in families, labour markets, and public policy all play a role in understanding why the United States has relatively less social mobility than many other countries.

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and the Great Gatsby Curve (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and the Great Gatsby Curve (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and the Great Gatsby Curve slides of the lecture.

 

  

Inequality and Impact Investments

Yaron Neudorfer, Social Finance Israel
31 May 2016

Inequality in society often leaves parts of the population underserved and with no good access to social services. The gap only grows over time, as governments don’t have enough money to resolve these social issues, and philanthropy is limited and not always sustainable.

New resources are needed to be able to fund the best and most effective social interventions in order to deal with the most pressing problems of our societies. Impact investment in general, and social impact bonds specifically create the mechanisms that are able to bring new investors’ money into social issues.

This lecture will introduce new concepts in funding social issues and moving from treatment to prevention.

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Impact Investments (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Impact Investments (Presentation)

 

Read the Inequality and Impact Investments slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Inflation

Bart Hobijn, Arizona State University 
12 May 2016

Households differ in the goods and services they buy and in the composition of their investment portfolios. These two differences result in inequality in both their inflation experiences as well as in their exposure to inflation risks.

How large are differences in inflation experiences across different types of households and in the extent to which households are exposed to inflation risk? The answer to this question matters for many policy decisions. For example, it affects the choice of appropriate indexation of benefits and salaries, the quantification of changes in the inequality in standards of living, as well as the assessment of the effects of monetary and fiscal policy measures.

This talk reviews the literature that has aimed to answer this question for the USA and provides new evidence for EU countries.

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Inflation (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Inflation (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Inflation slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Inheritances

Edward Wolff, New York University 
14 April 2016

Have inheritances become more important over time in the U.S.? There is reason to think that the share of wealth transfers has been rising as the current generation of elderly is now the richest in U.S. history.Moreover, the baby-boom generation has now reached the prime inheritance age group of 50-59 and may be the first generation to inherit a considerable amount of money. However, there is little evidence of an inheritance “boom”.

How much, if at all, do inheritances contribute to overall wealth inequality? Though inheritances received are much larger for richer than poorer families, inheritances, as a share of current wealth, tend to be higher for poorer families and thus tend to reduce overall wealth inequality.

This lecture will explore these and other issues based on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Inheritances (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Inheritances (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Inheritances slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Housing Exclusion

Marc Uhry, Fondation Abbé Pierre
15 March 2016

In many countries that experience population growth, the coexistence of communities is threatened by housing shortages. The concentration of economic activity in a few big cities leads to multitudes of families seeking employment in these economic centers, thus generating speculative housing bubbles. In contrast, housing markets collapse in many shrinking cities.

The inequalities that follow in the wake of such housing crises create disturbances with dramatic social consequences and can upset the economy on a worldwide scale. At the same time, housing is the chief lever by which the economy can recover in a peaceful way. Citizens can directly experience improvement and new challenges such as environmental protection, circular economies, restructured social interaction and the creation of `smart’ cities can be met.

This lecture will address the above issues with a focus on the European Union.

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Housing Exclusion (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Housing Exclusion (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Housing Exclusion slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Child Poverty

Martin Evans, UNICEF
1 March 2016

Child poverty is now a high priority in the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Poverty reduction will have to be monitored using international and national monetary poverty measures and also in ‘multi-dimensional’ terms.

This lecture outlines the current state of play in global child poverty profiles and considers options for improving child poverty measurement. Empirical evidence will consider international and national profiles of child poverty and discussion will consider issues that are common to both poverty and inequality measurement for future SDG monitoring. 

 

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Child Poverty (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Child Poverty (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Child Poverty slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and the Super Rich

Daniel Waldenström, Uppsala University
4 February 2016

Over the recent decades there has been a dramatic rise in top income shares in most Western countries.

Several explanations have been proposed, some pointing at the role of market-driven forces such as technology and globalization whereas others emphasize the importance of political and economic institutions of taxation or changing social norms about income differences in society.

This lecture presents the latest academic research about the evolution of top income and wealth positions around the Western world, what we know about the central determinants and how economic policy contribute to shaping these outcomes.

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and the Super Rich (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and the Super Rich (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and the Super Rich slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Opportunities Beyond High-School

Jamil Salmi, Global Tertiary Education Expert, former Tertiary Education Coordinator, World Bank
20 January 2016

All over the world, education has undeniably become the main force of inclusion in society.

Yet, much progress remains to be made, especially at the tertiary education level. In spite of the extensive efforts to improve access worldwide, tertiary education—especially the university sector—generally remains elitist, with the majority of enrolled students coming from wealthier segments of society.

Against this background, this lecture proposes to summarize available evidence on the main forms and the scope of disparities in tertiary education, present the principal determinants of inequality at the tertiary education level, and outline promising approaches and measures for offering more equal opportunities to all disadvantaged groups.

 

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Opportunities Beyond High-School (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Opportunities Beyond High-School (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Opportunities Beyond High-School slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Gender Occupational Outcomes

Ronald L. Oaxaca, University of Arizona
24 June 2015

Equality of opportunity is a popular goal that a broad spectrum of political opinion is united on. Equality of outcomes as an objective of public policy is more divisive.

I would argue that social concern over gender inequality in occupational outcomes is driven mainly by the very close association between occupational inequality and income inequality. If women were under-represented in low paying occupations lacking promotional opportunities, it is doubtful that gender occupational inequality would be a significant social issue (at least not for women).

This lecture will explore the association between job titles and wages, job mobility in the workplace, and how to sort out how much of the gender wage gap can be attributed to job segregation in the workplace.

Evidence will come from studies of actual firms as well as laboratory experiments.

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

              

 
Ronald L. Oaxaca, University of Arizona (introduction)

            

 

 
Ronald L. Oaxaca, University of Arizona (presentation)

 

Read the Inequality and Gender Occupational Outcomes slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Globalization

Jacques Silber, Bar-Ilan University
20 May 2015

What type of inequality should we take a look at when analyzing world inequality and how did inequality vary over time? Does globalization refer to the international convergence of prices or real wages, to the increase in the volume of trade, the decline in transportation costs and trade restrictions or to the rise in information flows (social globalization)?

What was the impact on inequality of technological change and institutional factors, such as the decline in the union coverage, in centralized collective bargaining and labor market regulations?

Empirical evidence will be presented on these various issues, in particular on the impact of globalization on inequality.

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Jacques Silber, Bar-Ilan University (introducion)

 

 
Jacques Silber, Bar-Ilan University (presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Globalization slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Non-Standard Work 

Ana Llena-Nozal , OECD
21 April 2015

This lecture discusses the implications of developments in the labour market in terms of non-standard work on individual earnings and household income inequality.

It documents how non-standard work affects the distribution of jobs and wages and discusses whether non-standard jobs are stepping-stones or not.

The presentation also shows that non-standard workers living alone or with other non-standard workers suffer from higher chances of low income and poverty. In addition, it examines work incentive and adequacy effects of tax and benefit rules.

 

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture 

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Non-Standard Work - Dr. Ana Llena-Nozal (Introduction)

 

 
Inequality and Non-Standard Work - Dr. Ana Llena-Nozal (Presentation)

 

 

Read the Inequality and Non-Standard Work slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Health

Frederick Zimmerman, University of California, Los Angeles
25 March 2015

How much inequality is too much? A philosophical answer is provided in Rawls’ dictum that only as much inequality can be tolerated as improves the lot of the least well-off.

Using health and well-being to concretize Rawls’ criterion, this presentation offers evidence suggesting that reducing inequality would result in meaningful improvements to population health and well-being.

Data are presented on the relationships between inequality and health in several domains, and causal mechanisms operating at various levels are discussed. This evidence collectively suggests that levels of economic inequality have reached levels that are ethically indefensible in many countries.

 

 

 

 

 

...in a nutshell

 

Full lecture 

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
Inequality and Health - Prof. Frederick J. Zimmerman (Intro)

 

 
Inequality and Health - Prof. Frederick J. Zimmerman (Presentation)

 

 

Read the of the Inequality and Health slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility

Tim Smeeding, University of Wisconsin and OECD
26 February 2015

 

This lecture considers what we know about the methods by which the intergeneration transmission of advantage and disadvantage work their way through the lifecycle; it shows how inequality affects mobility; it offers a perspective on when and how public policy can intervene to alter the time path of child development from birth through adulthood.

 

The steps in the life course are illustrated with cross-national examples of parent–child gradients in multiple child outcome domains.

 

 

 

 

... in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

Full slide presentation

 

 

 
… Intergenerational Mobility in a nutshell

 

 
Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility

 

 

Read the Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility slides of the lecture.

 

 

 

Inequality and Beyond GDP

Enrico Giovannini, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"
8 January 2015

 

A great deal of work over the last ten years has been carried out to measure the progress of our societies going “Beyond GDP”. New indicators have been developed, as well as initiatives to better integrate economic, social and environmental policies.

 

In the meantime, income inequality has grown in both developed and developing countries.

 

The lecture will discuss possible frameworks to measure equitable and sustainable well-being and opportunities to develop policies to reduce inequality in European countries.

 

 

 

... in a nutshell

 

Full lecture

 

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…Beyond GDP in a nutshell

 

 
Inequality and Beyond GDP

 

 

Read the Inequality and Beyond GDP slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Financial Literacy

Annamaria Lusardi, George Washington University
10 November 2014

 

Shifting economic policies and changes in the pension and economic landscape have forced individuals around the world to assume greater responsibility for their own financial well-being. But how prepared are individuals to take on this greater responsibility and to process the economic information needed to make informed decisions about their current and future finances?

 

Evidence using data collected across many countries shows that the level of financial literacy is very low, even in countries with well-developed financial markets. Financial illiteracy is not only widespread but is particularly acute among some demographic groups, such as young people and women.

 

Moreover, financial literacy can be linked to borrowing and saving behavior. It is also an important determinant of wealth inequality; according to the predictions of an intertemporal model of saving, from 30 to 40% of wealth inequality can be accounted for by financial literacy.

 

 

 

Full lecture

 

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Inequality and Financial Literacy

 

 

Read the Inequality and Financial Literacy slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Growth

Jean Marc Fournier, Economist at OECD
14 October 2014

 

Income inequality has widened in most OECD countries during the past decades, reflecting to a large extent skill-biased technological change. Inequality is a concern as the relevant target is not GDP growth per se but rather the well-being of people.

 

Furthermore, a recent OECD analysis suggests that higher inequality can reduce GDP per capita. The OECD has thus investigated the impact of growth-friendly structural reforms on inequality.

 

Some growth-friendly policies could increase inequality, such as tightening unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. By contrast, several growth-enhancing reforms contributed to narrower inequality by delivering stronger market income gains for the poorest, such as raising secondary education rates, stepping up job-search support and activation programmes, or policies aiming at reducing the share of temporary contracts. Last, some reforms can lift all boats, such as increasing the overall level of education.

 

 

 

Full lecture

 

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Inequality and Growth

 

 

Read the Inequality and Growth slides of the lecture.

 

  

Inequality and Diversity

Shlomo Weber, Southern Methodist University and Center for Study of Diversity and Social Interactions, New Economic School
4 June 2014

 

The bulk of economic research on the issue of diversity has been centered on the role of economic and wealth inequality in the global economy. However, one cannot deny the impact of linguistic diversity on economic and political development, as well as on public policies.

 

In spite of the claim that “globalization proceeds in English”, linguistic diversity is a global social phenomenon. On one hand, there are financial costs, communication barriers, divisions in national unity, and, in some extreme cases, conflicts and war, associated with linguistic diversity, on the other hand, there is a growing support for protection of group and an individual identity.

 

In our lecture we will argue that denial or restriction of linguistic rights of various population groups, or so-called linguistic disenfranchisement, could be detrimental for economic growth, political and social development.

 

 

 

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Inequality and Diversity

 

 

Read the Inequality and Diversity slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Education

Daniele Checchi, University of Milan
21 May 2014

 

Inequality in education concerns not only school attendance, but also what you may achieve in terms of competences. It represents a potential cause of inequality in earnings, since it drives people in or out of the labour market.

 

Policies favouring school inclusion seem effective in reducing educational inequality. These policies may take the form of either increases in years of education or increases in abilities. Years of education partially compensate for a possible lack of cultural resources due to family background, while abilities favour labour market participation and earnings potential.

 

This lecture will address these issues from a theoretical and empirical perspective.

 

 

 

Full lecture

 

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Inequality and Education

 

 

Read the Inequality and Education slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Poverty

Stephen Jenkins, London School of Economics
26 March 2014

 

The income distribution is most commonly assessed in terms of how much inequality or poverty there is in a given year or by how much inequality and poverty have changed over time.

 

This lecture makes a case for also drawing on information about income mobility – the links between people’s incomes in one year and the next and between parental and offspring income. The questions addressed include:

  • Why does mobility matter?
  • How much mobility and poverty persistence is there?
  • To what extent is there a trade-off between greater income inequality and poverty and greater mobility?

Empirical illustrations draw on data for Europe and North America.

 

 

 

Full lecture

 

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Inequality and Poverty

 

 

Read the Inequality and Poverty slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Gender

Janet Gornick, LIS & City University of New York
16 January 2014

 

Inequality among men and women is still a reality.

 

What is the role of the European Union in establishing work-family reconciliation policies in Europe? How do these policy provisions vary across high-income countries? What do we know about the effects – both intended and unintended – of reconciliation policies? What explains the comparatively low level of provision in the English-speaking countries, especially in the United States?

 

 

 

Full lecture

 

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Inequality and Gender

 

 

Read the Inequality and Gender slides of the lecture.

 

 

Inequality and Conflict

Joan Maria Esteban, Institut d'Anàlisi Economicà & Barcelona GSE
28 November 2013

 

Over the second half of the 20th century, conflicts within national boundaries became increasingly dominant. One-third of all countries experienced civil conflict.

 

There are two remarkable facts about social conflict that deserve notice: first, within-country conflicts account for an enormous share of deaths and hardship in the world today, and second, internal conflicts often appear to be ethnic in nature.

 

Which factors influence social conflict? Do ethnic divisions predict conflict within countries? How do we conceptualize those divisions? If it is indeed true that ethnic cleavages and conflicts are related, how do we interpret such a result? Is ethnicity instrumental to achieve political power or economic gain?

 

 

 

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Inequality and Conflict

 

 

Read the Inequality and Conflict slides of the lecture.