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"Inequality and...?" Lectures Series

The purpose of the "Inequality and ...?" lectures 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 European Investment Bank Institute (EIB Institute), the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR), LIS, LISER and STATEC.


2018 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2017 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2016 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2015 Inequality and...? Lecture Series

2014 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2013 Inequality and...? Lectures Series


Our 2019 lectures

 Upcoming Events

Inequality and Women in Politics

Alessandra Casarico, Bocconi University

at the European Investment Bank                                                                                                    

16 January 2019, at 13.00

Inequality in political empowerment between men and women is higher than in the economic sphere. According to the Global Gender Gap Index (World Economic Forum, 2017), the world has closed only 23% of the gender gap in politics. In Europe, women represent 30% of politicians in legislative bodies and 29.5% in government cabinets (EIGE, 2018). What is the source of this inequality? Why do we care about eliminating it? Are there effective policies to promote female political empowerment and reduce gender gaps in the political arena? This lecture will present recent research addressing the above questions, while offering a picture of gender inequality in politics, and the challenges ahead.







Register for this event





                      ...In a nutshell         

              Full Lecture                                                  

         Full slide presentation                                      




Inequality and Educational Prosperity

J. Douglas Willms, University of New Brunswick

6 February 2019




Inequality and Beliefs

Christina Fong, Carnegie Mellon University

13 March 2019




Inequality and Consumption

Tullio Jappelli, University of Naples Federico II

27 March 2019




Inequality and Public Opinions

Leslie McCall, CUNY

11 April 2019




Inequality and TBA

Costas Meghir, Yale University, NBER and IFS

26 June 2019





Past 2018 Events

Inequality and Happiness

Andrew Clark, Paris School of Economics, CNRS

12 December 2018

There can be few more readily-accepted statements than “Income inequality is bad for well-being”. We here first consider how well-being is measured, and then ask how it is related to the distribution of income. What may have appeared obvious is in fact not so. When individuals compare their incomes to each other, inequality changes not only absolute income but also income relative to others. In addition, our normative judgements of the “right” level of inequality vary widely according to the method applied to measure them, the part of the income distribution in which income changes, and whether income changes are fair. Reflecting the above concerns, empirical work on income inequality and happiness has produced a remarkable variety of contradictory findings.






 ...in a nutshell  


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Inequality and Migration

Michel Beine, University of Luxembourg

15 November 2018

International migration is on the rise. In a period of less than 50 years, the stock of migrants has been multiplied by more than 3. This general phenomenon of massive movements of people nevertheless conceals quite an heterogeneous picture in terms of sending and receiving countries. In this lecture, starting from the idea that every move starts with plans, we provide new explanation of that heterogeneity using data from the Gallup World Survey. We argue that these data contain useful information to predict future migration flows. We show that the data can shed some light on the way individuals perceive their own but also the foreign country.






 ...in a nutshell  


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Inequality and Corruption

Nastassia Leszczynska, European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics (ECARES)

3 October 2018

Corruption is closely associated with unfair consequences. Most studies find a positive correlation between corruption and inequality. Not only petty corruption does cause huge losses, it also widens the gap between rich and poor members of the society. However, a few empirical findings explore the possibility of a negative relationship between corruption and inequality, and view it as a pro-poor redistribution mechanism. This lecture will review empirical and experimental findings, and explore how preferences for fairness can be used to influence corrupt behavior.






 ...in a nutshell  


 Full lecture


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Inequality and Social Relations

Jean-Paul Chavas, University of Wisconsin-Madison

12 September 2018

The last few decades have seen a rise in income inequality. This rise has generated concerns about inequality and its policy implications. Economic inequalities can be evaluated based on fairness. But fairness can be inconsistent with economic efficiency; and it can depend on social relations. This lecture examines the linkages between fairness, economic efficiency and social relations, along with their implications for policy.






 ...in a nutshell  


 Full lecture


   Full slide presentation







Inequality, Human Capital and Marital Patterns

Pierre-André Chiappori, Columbia University

29 May 2018

Human capital has played a key role in the evolution of inequality over the recent decades. This lecture will first present some facts about inequality in general, then discuss endogenous human capital formation and its role on the labor and marriage markets. I will argue that an 'inequality spiral' is generated as educated people tend to marry their own and invest more into their children, increasing assortative matching among their offspring and resulting in more inequality for the next generation.






 ...in a nutshell  


 Full lecture


   Full slide presentation


Inequality, Human Capital and Marital Patterns (Interview)
Inequality, Human Capital and Marital Patterns (Presentation)




Inequality and the PIBien-être

Serge Allegrezza, STATEC

17 April 2018

The PIBien-être aims to go beyond GDP in order to capture the multiple facets of the quality of life. The government of Luxembourg assigned this project to the CES and CSDD to develop a comprehensive notion of well-being. The result is an array of 63 indicators that cover 11 different domains of people’s lives from 2009 onward. The agency in charge of data collection and computation is STATEC. A final report on the project was submitted last year. The talk will focus on some of the shortcomings of the list of indicators and present proposals to move forward.






...in a nutshell                                    

 Full lecture                                                                   

Full slide presentation


Inequality and the PIBien-être (Interview)
Inequality and the PIBien-être (Presentation)




Inequality and European Identity  

Frank Cowell, London School of Economics and Political Science                                                                                                                    

28 March 2018

The connection between the European Identity and inequality presents a puzzle. This talk examines whether the answer to the puzzle is to be found in the facts about income and wealth distribution, or in European attitudes to distributional fairness, or in the connections between European citizens’ preferences for redistribution and their own national ties.






...in a nutshell                                    

 Full lecture                                                                   

Full slide presentation


Inequality and European Identity (Interview)
Inequality and European Identity (Presentation)



Inequality and Surnames

Gregory Clark, University of California, Davis

8 March 2018

Until recently, surnames for men in most societies were inherited from their fathers. In this talk I show how we can use this fact, and the information content in surnames, to reveal surprising results about the nature and mechanisms of social mobility. In particular surnames reveal that social mobility rates are much lower than conventionally estimated, and hence inequalities greater. Surnames also can offer surprising insights into the sources of regional inequalities in economic outcomes. They suggest, for example, that regional disparities in modern England are entirely the product of selective migration of economic talent within England over the past 200 years.





...in a nutshell                                    

 Full lecture                                                                   

Full slide presentation


Inequality and Surnames (Interview)
Inequality_and_Surnames (Presentation)




Inequality and Genes

Markus Jäntti, Stockholm University

1 February 2018

Inequality in economic outcomes partly reflects genetic variation: there is considerable evidence that economic varies across both time and space, suggesting that other forces are also at play. This leads to more complex models of family assocations in economic outcomes. The policy implications of different views of the relationship between economic inequality and genes are discussed.While doubt can be cast on the view that inequality is mostly genetic, the implications for, e.g., policies to reduce inequality are widely misunderstood.






...in a nutshell                                             

Full lecture                                                                                                     

Full slide presentation


Inequality and Genes (Interview)
Inequality and Genes (Presentation)




Inequality and Luxembourg

Nicolas Schmit, Gouvernement du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de l’Économie sociale et solidaire

9 January 2018

This lecture analyzes inequality in one of the wealthiest countries worldwide. Traditionally, Luxembourg has been a relatively equal society but new economic developments are changing this. What does the new digital economy mean in this respect? Is there polarization in the labour market? Is growing inequality a result of prices in the housing market?What active public policies could be employed to reduce inequalities?





...in a nutshell                             

Full lecture                                                                                                               

Full slide  presentation   


Inequality and Luxembourg (Interview)
Inequality and Luxembourg (Presentation)