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Major 2.7 million euro research project launched at LSE

The social, cultural and political impacts of increasing inequalities in income, wealth and education across Europe will be the subject of a major 2.7 million euro three year research project launched on Friday 19 March at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Details of the project, known as GINI (Growing Inequalities' Impacts), were due to be announced by László Andor, the new EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at a two-day opening conference at LSE.

A team of 80 researchers, comprised of six core teams in universities in London, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Budapest, Dublin and Milan, will organise the research and develop the main approach for their own six countries. Around 25 individual associates will add valuable expertise on specific issues, and another 20 country teams will extend the EU-funded project to 23 more countries. Wiemer Salverda of the University of Amsterdam will coordinate the project.

Abigail McKnight, Frank Cowell, John Hills and Tony Atkinson will be among LSE academics taking part in the project, based at LSE's research centre STICERD (Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines)

Dr McKnight, Senior Research Fellow at CASE who will be leading the research on social impacts of inequality, said:

'This conference marks the start of an important research collaboration bringing together experts from a number of disciplines across 29 countries to explore the profound impact rising inequality has had on peoples' lives.  Inequality in income, education and wealth not only has a direct impact on the lives of people but also the affects of these inequalities have wider social, political and cultural impacts.  For example, differences in education not only affect individuals' earnings potential, family resources but also impacts on health and the life-chances of their children and the society in which they grow up.  The existence of inequality shapes social policy and government expenditure.  Understanding these linkages will help to inform policy makers on the big policy issues of equal opportunity, poverty prevention and social justice.'

Mr Andor said:

'As the new Europe 2020 strategy gets off the ground, we need sound analysis to set a meaningful target for a more inclusive society. The quantitative target on poverty reduction is one of the most important aspects of the this, helping to reinforce the social dimension of Europe's economic strategy.'

For more information: http://www.gini-research.org/articles/home


Notes to Editors

If journalists would like to attend the conference or interview Dr McKnight, please contact Leila Alberici on 0207 955 6674 or l.alberici@lse.ac.uk