2018 Events

Migrant Margins: Brutal borders and edge economies
Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Suzanne Hall

Thursday, 6th December, 12.15-1.15pm,  Fawcett House 2.9.05

The ‘migrant margins’ emerges in the intersection of global migration and urban marginalisation. Focusing on livelihoods forged by migrants on four peripheral streets in the edge territories of Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Manchester, I draw on face-to-face surveys with self-employed proprietors. Despite significant variables amongst proprietors, these individuals had all become traders on streets in marginalised parts of UK cities, and I address whether ‘race’ matters more than class for how certain groups become emplaced in the city. Narratives of inequality and racism feature prominently in the proprietors’ accounts of where they settled in the city and what limited forms of work are available in the urban margins. Yet as significant to proprietors’ experiences of trade are repertoires of entrepreneurial agility and cross-cultural exchange. Through the concept of the ‘migrant margins’ I explore the overlap of human capacities and structural discrimination that spans the margins of global and urban space. I combine urban sociological understandings of ‘race’ and inequality with fluid understandings of makeshift city-making that have emerged in post-colonial urban studies. Such combinations encourage connections between the histories and geographies of how people and places become bordered, together with practices of edge economies that are both marginal and transgressive.

Nudge Theory and What Works dynamic approaches to opening up data                                                                                      

Supported by JRF

Chair: John Pullinger, UK National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive UK Statistics Authority

Speakers: Zamila Bunglawala, JRF Fellow in Practice and Deputy Director, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office; David Halpern, Chief Executive, Behavioural Insights Team; Sandra Kerr, Race Equality Director, Business in the Community (BiTC); and Mike Savage, Director, International Inequalities Institute, LSE

Wednesday, 5th December, 6pm-8pm, LSE, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Please RSVP to 

Dynamic approaches towards open data to identify ‘what works’, to inform behavioural change and public and private sector policies, to reduce inequalities.

Increasingly, data is how we make sense of the world. From GDP to the UN’s sustainability goals, key indicators are held up as objective reflections of the world.  This open dialogue event will highlight dynamic approaches from the new ONS Center for Equalities and Inclusion, from 'nudge theory' and behavioural change, sharing ‘what works’ and informing policies in the public and private sectors to reduce inequalities in gender pay, ethnic minority employment and wider inequalities. 

The ‘Essex Hijab’. Fitting into the diverse city: social exclusion, symbolic boundaries and convivial labour in East London

Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Susanne Wessendorf

Tuesday, 4th December, 12.30-1.45pm,  Fawcett House .9.05

This paper addresses how long-established ethnic minorities in East London react to new immigration. By drawing on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork, it looks at how long-term experiences of stigmatisation among ethnic minorities impact on their perceptions of newcomers, and how, in the context of socio-economic precariousness, these perceptions are characterized by a combination of empathy and resentment.

Switching Focus: whose responsibility to improve disabled people’s employment and pay?

Supported by JRF

Speakers include: Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE (cross-bench peer), Lord Chris Holmes MBE, David Isaac CBE (Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission) and Liz Sayce (LSE)

Chair: Dr Tania Burchardt (LSE, Department of Social Policy)

Wednesday, 28th November, 6pm – 7.30pm, Tower 1 Room G.01

This event marks the launch of a report that sets an agenda to scale up inclusive employment practice through policies that focus on the demand side: incentivising and supporting employers. Decades of focus on the supply side – requiring or supporting disabled individuals to move towards work – have left the UK with stubborn disability employment and pay gaps. A different approach is needed.

Please RSVP to by 21 November.

International Inequalities: Leave No One Behind - Digitising Development Data                                                                         

Supported by JRF

Chair: Matthew Rycroft, Permanent Secretary DFID

Speakers:  Zamila Bunglawala JRF Practitioner Fellow, III LSE; Rose Caldwell, Executive Director, Concern Worldwide (UK); Elizabeth StuartHead of Programmes ODI; and Claudia WellsAssistant Director for Sustainability and Environment statistics at the Office for National Statistics

Thursday, 22nd November, 6pm-7.30pm, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields,1st Floor, Room 1.04.

Panel to discuss international inequalities, data collection, disaggregation and gaps, and digital innovations, challenges and opportunities in reducing inequalities.

Please RSVP to by 21 November.

The Pains and Reach of Racism in Young  Londoner’s Lives: Sketching the Contours                                                                                Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

SpeakerDr Coretta Phillips

Thursday, 22nd November, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

This paper sketches an analytical framework to conceptualise the way racial power and socio-economic precarity impacts the everyday lives of young minority ethnic Londoners. Using data from life histories, photo-elicitation and vignettes, it aims to elucidate the pains of racism and economic marginalisation using and extending the notions of measurement (depthbreadthlooseness and tightness) drawn from Crewe’s (2011) conceptualisation of the contemporary pains of imprisonment. While there is no intention to imply a straightforward parallel between systems of penal power and racial power, the commonalities in the feelings evoked and the lives lived are stark in their affect and effect. 

Experiences of money from the perspectives of London’s ‘rich’ and ‘poor’

Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speakers: Dr Kate Summers and Dr Katharina Hecht

Tuesday, 20th November, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

This paper compares qualitative interview data with individuals at the opposite ends of the income and wealth distributions, in a society with large economic inequality. We highlight key temporal differences in how money is experienced, whereby the ‘poor’ are restricted to short-term strategies for making ends meet, while the ‘rich’ can engage in long-term wealth accumulation strategies. Our novel comparison also shows important commonalities between these two groups, and in particular the pervasive influence of what we term ‘individualised market thinking’. Due to this commonality the temporal aspects of achieving a state of perceived deservingness are enduring for those at the top and fleeting for those at the bottom of the income and wealth distributions.

Uncertain citizenship: Everyday practices of Bolivian migrants in Chile

Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Megan Ryburn

Thursday, 8th November, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

Uncertain Citizenship explores how Bolivian migrants to Chile experience citizenship in their daily lives. Intraregional migration is on the rise in Latin America and challenges how citizenship in the region is understood and experienced. In response to this, and drawing on multi-sited ethnographic research, the book develops the idea of transnational spaces of citizenship. It explores how migrants are both included inand excluded from these spaces across borders, considering how these inclusions and exclusions are mediated by migrants’ social identities, such as gender, race, and class. As they navigate movement and migration through these spaces, many individuals occupy a state of uncertain citizenship.

Revolution and Freedom: Nightmarch among India's revolutionary guerrillas                                                                    

Public Event 

Thursday,1st November, 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre 

In her latest book, Nightmarch, which she will talk about at this event, Alpa Shah offers a profound understanding of why some of India’s poor have shunned the world’s largest democracy and taken up arms to fight for a fairer society in one of the most intractable and under-reported rebellions.


Alpa Shah (@alpashah001) is Associate Professor (Reader) of Anthropology at London School of Economics and leads the Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty.

Neel Mukherjee is the critically acclaimed author of three novels: A State of Freedom(2017), The Lives of Others (2014), and A Life Apart (2010).

Chair: Beverley Skeggs (@bevskeggs) is a feminist sociologist and the Academic Director of the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity based in the International Inequalities Institute.

IMF: Gender Inequality and the Macroeconomy                            

Closed Event  

Thursday, 1st November 

Gender equality can play an important role in promoting economic stability by boosting economic productivity and growth, enhancing economic resilience, and reducing income inequality. The IMF supports countries in tackling gender gaps through its three main streams of work: analytical work, policy advice and capacity building. This presentation will discuss two specific areas that draw on analytical work and are operationalized at country level:

1) Gender budgeting efforts: how fiscal policies can be a powerful tool for ministries of finance to reduce gender inequality

2) An analytical framework to analyze macroeconomic and distributional effects, including on gender gaps                                 


Lisa Kolovich is an economist at the International Monetary Fund and the team manager for gender research under a joint IMF-DFID collaboration that focuses on macroeconomic issues in low-income countries.

Vivian Malta is an economist in the Strategy, Policy and Review department of the IMF, where she has been working on analytical projects that tackle, at the same time, macroeconomic issues and inequality.

Tackling ethnic disparities using websites                                      

Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Zamila Bunglawala, Visiting Fellow III and Deputy Director - Strategy and Insight, Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office

Tuesday, 30th October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

Since it’s 2017 launch the Cabinet Office Race Disparity Audit’s website, detailing all Government data broken down by ethnicity is a world-fist has raised the exposure of ethnic disparities across the country, and helped to shine a light on areas where more focus is needed.

The Race Disparity Audit is unprecedented in scale, scope and transparency, and has brought greater data accessibility to and accountability for ethnic disparities. Organisations in public, private and voluntary sectors are using the data to take action and the Ethnicity Facts and Figures website is valued and trusted, especially by key academics, ethnic minority and community NGOs.

Zamila is the founding member of the Race Disparity Audit. This seminar will demonstrate the website, including policy, data and digital decisions with a users-first approach, scale of the challenges, data-driven policies announced to tackle ethnic disparities, and invite discussion on what more still needs to be done.    

The Impact of Immigration on Natives’ Fertility: Evidence from Syrians in Turkey

Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Berkay Özcan

Thursday, 25th October, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

The discussion on whether immigration can solve the problems of population aging often focus on the fertility of immigrants. Additionally, standard projections often consider the impact of migration on population growth but assume that the natives’ fertility does not change in response to migration. By contrast, we show that the native fertility is affected by immigration. We use the Syrian mass migration to specific Turkish provinces shortly after the 2011 civil war as an exogenous source of variation in exposure to immigration and show that natives’ fertility in the affected provinces increased relative to the provinces that are less affected. Our findings are consistent across fertility measures both at the aggregate andindividual levels. We provide further analyses to test four potential mechanisms and to show heterogeneityin the fertility response by population subgroups. We find that the labor market-related factors and socialinteractions can plausibly explain the increase in natives’ fertility.

Workshop on Inequality and Social Protection in South East Europe


Monday, 22nd October, FREN, Faculty of Economics, University of Belgrade, Serbia

The workshop aims to provide a forum for the presentation, dissemination and discussion of the latest research on inequality and social protection in South East Europe (SEE) among researchers and key stakeholders. After the workshop, papers will be considered for publication in an edited volume published by LSEE. Researchers are invited to submit abstracts of their papers by 1st October 2018.

Closing the Gender Data Gap:  from data access to informing decisions and changing behaviours

Tuesday 16th Oct, 7-8.30 pm, Bush House,Strand Campus KCL - This event is held jointly by the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at Kings College London and LSE International Inequalities Institute

Chair: The Hon Julia Gillard AC (Global Institute for Womens Leadership, KCL) Speakers:  Zamila Bunglawala (Cabinet Office and JRF Practitioner Fellow, III); Seeta Gangadharan (LSE); Anna Wechsberg (Government Equalities Office)

This panel event will look at the accessibility and transparency of data from across sectors, as researchers and policy makers look to close the gender data gap through informing decisions, changing behaviours and improving outcomes for all.

Inclusive Growth in cities: a sympathetic critique

Part of the Inequalities Seminar Series

Speaker: Dr Neil Lee

Tuesday, 16th October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

The concept of ‘Inclusive Growth’ – a concern with the pace and pattern of growth – has become a new mantra in local economic development. Despite enthusiasm from some policy-makers, others argue it is a buzzword which is changing little. This paper summarizes and critiques this agenda. There are important unresolved issues with the concept of Inclusive Growth, which is conceptually fuzzy and operationally problematic, has only a limited evidence base, and reflects an overconfidence in local government’s ability to create or shape growth. Yet, while imperfect, an Inclusive Growth model is better than one which simply ignores distributional concerns.

Multiple generation mobility among European Turks and non-migrant Turks inTurkey

Part of the Seminar Series on Migration, Ethnicity and Race

Speaker: Dr Ayse Guveli

Thursday, 11th October, 12.15-1.15pm, TW2.9.05

Intergenerational social mobility is a longstanding research topic and a reoccurring measure for equal opportunities in our societies. High levels of social mobility decrease social inequalities and fuel equal opportunities. Recently, the impact of grandparents’ social class has gained extensive attention among stratification scholars, but research is still rare in international migration literature. Do descendants of migrants benefit from migration in obtaining better occupational status? This research focuses on three to four generation social mobility among Turkish origin Europeans and their non-migrant comparators in Turkey by analysing the original 2000 Families dataset, including about 20,000 adults in Western European countries and Turkey. Our preliminary findings show that migrants were positively selected on social mobility. That is, they were more likely to have different job than their parent before they migrated to Europe compared to those who never left Turkey. We find that social reproduction is stronger among non-migrants in Turkey than those in Europe.

The Inner Level: how more equal societies reduce stress, restore sanity and improve wellbeing

LSE Public Lecture

Speakers: Professor Kate Pickett, Professor Richard Wilkinson

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

Wednesday, 3rd October, 6.30-8.00pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The speakers will focus on the psychological effects of inequality, on how larger income differences increase feelings of dominance and subordination, and the consequences for mental illness.

Ethnographic exploration of the socio-economic transformation of the Basque country

Speaker: Dr Luna Glucksberg

Tuesday, 2nd October, 12.30-1.45pm, TW2.9.05

The aim of this research project conducted by the LSE Inequalities Institute in collaboration with the Agirre Lehendakaria Center was to understand the values, narratives and strategic decisions that have been taken in the Basque Country by public and private institutions during the last decades, to build a unique socio-economic model that presents positive equality indicators combined with a competitive economy.

Choosing to be smart: Algorithms, AI, and avoiding the inevitability of unequal futures

LSE Public Lecture

Speakers: Dr Seeta Peña GangadharanSeda GürsesBarry Lynn

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

Thursday, 20th September, 6.30-8:00pm, 

Since the early 2000s, acquisitions by Microsoft, Google, Intel, and other big tech companies in AI and machine learning have been rapidly growing. As investments continue apace, and algorithms and artificial intelligence become integrated into our daily lives, public debate regularly fixates upon whether new, automated technologies can be used for good or bad. But as anxieties grow, what choices can we effectively make about our so-called intelligent futures? How do we make these choices? Who gets to choose, and at what point in the diffusion of automated technologies? This panel unpacks asymmetries in data-driven markets, the engineering of consent in optimization models used in data-driven technologies, and the politics of refusal in the context of automated systems. Barry Lynn, Seda Gürses, and Seeta Peña Gangadharan debate what choices people and institutions have—and should have to make—in the design, diffusion, and disruption of automated technologies.

Inequalities Seminar: Varieties of transition: income inequality and welfare systems in Yugoslav successor states

Speakers: Will Bartlett, Gorana Krstic, Nermin Oruc, Jelena Zarkovic Rakic

26th June, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05 

Twenty-five years since the break up of Yugoslavia, the successor states have followed different paths of transition and developed a variety of approaches to the welfare state. As a consequence, the patterns of income inequality that have evolved have been starkly different. While Serbia has the highest level of inequality in Europe, Slovenia has one of the lowest, while Croatia is in an intermediate position. Applying a unified methodology across cases, the seminar examines that factors that have contributed to these income inequality outcomes, with a focus on labour markets, educational systems and redistributory tax-benefit

Art and Inequality: new perspectives

20 June, 2.00-8.00pm, Tate Modern, Bankside, London

Join us on 20 June 2018 at the Tate Modern to explore artistic responses to inequality.

Struggles for equality continue to engage with issues of class, race, gender, sexuality, and ability. This workshop explores the specific roles that art might play in tackling inequalities. How might artists document or make visible forms of inequality? What impact might their work have in shaping political and economic debates in these areas? How might artists and institutions work with communities and activists to reduce inequalities? And in what ways might art and its institutions perpetuate inequalities?

The event will begin with a workshop features short presentations by artists, curators, activists and academics as prompts for wider discussions amongst participants. Johnny Miller, one of our Atlantic Fellows 2017-18, will join contributors including David A. Bailey (curator and photographer), Adam Kaasa (Royal College of Art), Amal Khalaf (Serpentine Galleries), and Sarita Malik (Brunel University). There will also be an introduction to the Art and Inequality project from Dr Clive James Nwonka (London School of Economics).

The workshop is followed by an evening discussion in the Starr Cinema, chaired by the broadcaster Bidisha and featuring the cultural critic Bonnie Greer. The discussion is designed to be an open discussion, drawing on questions and contributions from the audience rather than formal presentations from the panellists. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to submit a question for the panel to consider, please email with the subject line ‘Art and Inequality’ by Friday 15 June.

This event has been developed through an exciting new partnership between Tate and The Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity. For full details view the Tate Modern website for the workshop and the open discussion.

Tracking the Rise in Global Economic Inequality: new evidence from the World Inequality Report 2018

Speaker: Dr Lucas Chancel (General Coordinator of the World Inequality Report and Co-Director of the World Inequality Lab)

Discussants: Dr Rebecca Simson (Junior Research Fellow at the Institute for Historical Research and Research Associate in the LSE International Development Department) and Dr Duncan Green (Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB and Professor in Practice in the LSE International Development Department)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (Co-Director, III)

7 June, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The first World Inequality Report (WIR2018), first launched in December last year at the Paris School of Economics, was coordinated by Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman. It draws from new findings of the World Wealth and Income Database (a project which regroups now more than 100 researchers all over the world) and provides the first systemic assessment of globalization in terms of income and wealth inequality since 1980. It documents a sharp rise in global income inequality since the 1980s, despite strong growth in emerging countries. It also discusses country-to-country inequality trajectories (including UK's wealth inequality dynamics) and highlights the importance of policy-making in the diverging trends observed across countries and world regions.

Inequalities Seminar: Group Rights and Gender Justice on the Social Margins 

Speakers: Dr Naila Kabeer and Nivedita Narain (PRADAN)

29th May, TW2.9.05, 12.30-2pm 

This paper explores how the idea of gender justice as a critical aspect of social justice plays out among the Gonds, an Adivasi or tribal community in the state of Chattisgarh in India.  The Adivasis are the poorest and most socially and politically marginalized social group in the Indian context.  The historical nature of their disadvantage, along with those of Dalit (formerly ‘untouchable’) castes, is recognized by the Indian constitution which put in place various forms of affirmative action in the form of reservations in legislation, public sector employment and government-run educational institutions.  Additional special protections have also been imposed by the state in relation to tribal groups, for instance, to acknowledge the significance of land and forests to their identity and livelihoods. In other words, alongside the commitment to the individual rights of citizens guaranteed by the constitution, there is also recognition of certain group rights reflecting criteria of caste and indigeneity.

Group rights, as the literature on the topic recognizes, can have the effect of suspending some of the rights of individual group members, particularly those who occupy a marginal status within them. The feminist literature on this topic has pointed out that it is frequently the rights of women within these groups that tend to be overridden by the recognition of the rights of their group. Our research explores these tensions from the perspectives of men and women from the Gond community.  It uses qualitative and quantitative research to gain insights into how they define themselves as Gond, how they distinguish themselves from other communities and their views about community norms and values. We also explore the significance of gender in differentiating the experience of growing up within the Gond community and in the views held by men and women with regard to the meaning of being a Gond. The research also examines the intersectional nature of inequality and injustice both within the Gonds as well as between Gonds and other communities. Finally, our research asks whether the efforts of government and civil society to promote self-help groups among women within these communities have brought about change in the lives of women and their families and how these changes are viewed by different sections of the community.

Inequalities Seminar: Recasting the UNDP's Human Development Measures

Speaker: Professor Sudhir Anand

Chair: Dr Aaron Reeves

8 May, TW2.9.05, 12.30-2pm

The UNDP introduced three new human development measures in its 2010 Human Development Report, which it continues to estimate and report on annually.  These measures are the geometrically-averaged Human Development index (HDI), the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), and the Gender Inequality Index (GII).  In this paper I critically review these measures in terms of their purpose, concept, construction, properties, and data requirements.  I show that all three measures suffer from serious defects, and conclude that two of them are not fit-for-purpose.  I suggest how HDI and GII might be recast to overcome the problems identified and better reflect the purpose for which they were devised. 

Exploitation, Asymmetries of Power, and Egalitarianism 

Speaker: Professor Mark Harvey (Director of the Centre for Research in Economic Sociology and Innovation, and Research Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Essex)

2 May, 6.30-8pm, Wolfson Theatre 

The lecture gave an overview of the main issues addressed in the book Inequality and Democratic Egalitarianism which Professor Mark harvey co-authored with Norman Geras, sadly no longer with us. The book asks: what are the processes that generate societal wealth inequalities, and how are these formed, socially, politically, legally and historically? Proceeding from a critique of Marx, the authors retain the idea that labour, in all its varieties and modalities (market, non-market, domestic) is the creative source of societal wealth. Professor Harvey will demonstrate that the industrial revolution drove not only the growth of wage labour but also a vast capitalist expansion of slavery – and its subsequent replacement by other forms of servitude. The legacies of those inequalities persist to this day. 

The Labour of Care: work, law, and finance

Speaker: Lydia Hughes, Kevin Lucas, Dr Insa Koch, Professor Nicola Lacey

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

1 May, 6.30-8pm The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre

If a society is judged on its ability to care for those who need support, what does it mean to turn caring into profit?

To celebrate May Day, the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity, based at the International Inequalities Institute, held an event to explore how the Labour of Care - the often-ignored activity of caring for another person and it’s future role in social, political, and economic life.

Inequalities Seminar: Great Expectations: Is the IMF turning words into action on inequality?

Speaker: Chiara Mariotti (Inequality Policy Manager, Oxfam)

Chair: Dr Aaron Reeves

1 May, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

The seminar considered that, in recent years, the International Monetary Fund has become a global leader in highlighting the inequality crisis; consistently identifying it as a major threat to human progress and prosperity. But what is the IMF doing in practice to operationalize its agenda for tackling inequality? 

Cultural Studies and the Challenge of Inequality Today

Speakers: Professor Tony Bennett, Professor Bev Skeggs, Dr Clive James Nwonka

Chair: Mike Savage

18 April, 6.30-8pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

This event considered the prospects for contemporary thinking within the cultural studies tradition to engage with current inequalities. Mindful of the historical importance of this tradition, dating back to the 1960s and including work by Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, feminist cultural theory, and Bourdieu, the panel took stock of these older perspectives and offered their thoughts on contemporary prospects.

Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn

Speaker: Chris Hughes

Discussants: Professor Natalie Fenton, Kam Sandhu

Chair: Professor Bev Skeggs

10 April, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes made the case that one percenters like him should pay their fortune forward in a radically simple way: a guaranteed income for working people. Chris Hughes is the co-founder of the Economic Security Project. He co-founded Facebook and later led Barack Obama’s digital organising campaign for President. 

Podcast available here.

Inequalities Seminar: The Effects of Welfare Programs on Local Labor Markets: Evidence from Conditional Cash transfers

Speaker: Dr Joana Naritomi (LSE International Development)

20 March, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Welfare programs, such as Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs), have expanded widely in Latin America in the past 15 years and have been credited for a sizable reduction in poverty rates. Yet, potential unintended consequences on labour markets have spurred a heated political debate over the future of these programs. There is a concern that they create efficiency costs by lowering incentives to work, particularly in the formal sector as many programs condition continued eligibility on reported income levels. Such disincentive effects at the individual level, however, could be mitigated by general equilibrium effects. For instance, formal wages may increase following the reduction in labour supply. Welfare programs also inject funds into local economies, potentially raising labour demand, equilibrium wages, and employment, including in the formal sector. This project matches administrative records of the universe of Bolsa Familia recipients in Brazil and the universe of formal employment data to provide new evidence on the partial and general equilibrium effects of the program on formal labour markets in the country. Our preliminary results show evidence of disincentives in formal labor supply at the individual level for specific subgroups of workers, but positive effects at the local labor market level. 

This event is certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. For delegates who wish to obtain CPD Certificate of Attendance, please register your details at the end of the event.

Who Belongs? Can we Afford to be Different?

Speakers: Brett Heasman, Celestin Okoroji, Professor Bev Skeggs, Dr Jana Uher

Chair: Dr Sunil Kumar

24 February, 4.30-5.45pm, New Academic Building

There have been significant advances in the rights, recognition and participation of diverse groups of people in the UK over the past 30 years. And yet, people’s backgrounds and characteristics – such as their age, gender, ethnicity, 'abilities' or 'disabilities', and sexual orientation – continue to strongly influence their life experiences, opportunities and prosperity. During an extended period of austerity, the current political climate is characterised by sharp divisions in attitudes to the long-term direction of the country, to the question of 'who belongs?' and to the sustainability of the UK's welfare system – giving rise to the question, ‘Can we afford to be different?’ 

Video here

Five LSE Giants' Perspectives on Poverty

Speakers: Dr Tania Burchardt, Professor Sir John Hills, Professor Stephen P Jenkins, Professor Lucinda Platt

Chair: Professor Paul Gregg

24 February 3.15-4.30pm, Alumni Theatre New Academic Building

Taking five ‘Giants’ in the study of poverty over the last 100 years, themselves, like Beveridge, authors of influential reports, this event discussed how their thinking articulates with Beveridge’s vision and has advanced our understanding of poverty and how to tackle it.

Video here.

Lessons from Grenfell Tower: inequality and housing need, the Giant that still divides us

Speakers: Professor Danny Dorling, Lynsey Hanley, Professor Anne Power

23 February, 6.30-7.30pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The crucially important role of social housing has been recognised following the Grenfell Tower disaster, which also laid bare the disconnect between the ‘elites’ and the most disadvantaged in society.This event explored the link between inequality and housing, evidenced by the growing demand for low cost rented housing among those on the very lowest incomes. Unless the voices of communities and residents are heard and taken seriously, there is a risk that gaps in society will widen even further.

Video here.

Writing Fiction to Dramatise Inequality

Speakers: Louise Doughty (author of Apple Tree YardBlack Water, and Whatever You Love), Winnie M Li (LSE Media and Communications and author of Dark Chapter), Professor Nicola Lacey (LSE Law)

Chair: Dr Shani Orgad (LSE Media and Communications)

21 February, 7-8pm, Wolfson Theatre

How can literature reach audiences in ways that social science research about inequality can’t? How can narratives about fictional characters dramatise lived experiences of social inequality – and what are the ethical implications of creating these narratives for a mass readership? 

This event brings together two award-winning authors (one established, one emerging) whose fiction explores various forms of social inequality. Louise Doughty, author of eight novels, is best known for her bestselling Apple Tree Yard, which was adapted into a BBC TV series. Winnie M Li is a PhD student at LSE, whose debut novel Dark Chapter, recently won The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize and is inspired by her own lived experience of rape. They will be discussing these questions wtih Dr Shani Orgad, whose work focuses on the representation of gender in media narratives, and Professor Nicola Lacey, whose work focuses on feminist analysis of law, law and literature and biography.

Podcast here.

The Challenge of Richness? Rethinking the Giant of Poverty

Speakers: Dr Tania Burchardt (LSE CASE), Amy Feneck, Dr Sam Friedman (LSE Sociology), Dr Luna Glucksberg (LSE III)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage (LSE Sociology)

20 February, 8-9.15pm, Sheikh Zayed Theatre

The economic and political power of the richest in our society has dramatically increased since 1942. 75 years on since his report, the panel discussed whether Beveridge’s concern with poverty now needs to be extended to include a concern with richness.

Video here.

Inequalities Seminar: The stakes of trade policy: global and domestic inequalities

Speaker: Dr Sarah Goff (LSE Government)

20 February 2018, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Economic nationalism is on the rise, while multilateral and regional decision-making on trade is floundering. These trends are highlighted by the collapse of the World Trade Organization’s Doha round, the US’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the US and the UK taking steps that could lead to withdrawal from Nafta and the Common Market, respectively. When decision-making on trade shifts from multilateral institutions to states, what is at stake for equality? One domain of equality is procedural fairness, namely, “reciprocity” and “non-discrimination” between states. A second domain is domestic equality, since political leaders claim that better trade deals will help disadvantaged groups. A final domain is global distributive equality, which includes developing countries’ chances for growth and the treatment of their most vulnerable citizens. This talk clarified the points of conflict between these three domains of equality, and the prospects for global distributive equality while the first two domains have political priority.

Podcast here.

Having Too Much: Developing a Riches line

Speaker: Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht University)

15 February, 12-1.30pm

This seminar presented the argument that it is not morally permissible to have more resources than are needed to fully flourish in life. It is instrumentally necessary to limit ‘riches’ above this level to protect political equality and to meet urgent needs. Some indications are given on how such a riches line might be defined. 

Bird la Bird’s Travelling Queer People’s History Show

Speaker: Bird la Bird

14 February, 6.30pm - 8.00pm, Shaw Library, Old Building, LSE

Bird la Bird is an artist who straddles comedy and performance art. Drawing on her love of history and art Bird has created highly popular queer people's history tours of the V&A, Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery and the City of London. 


Changes and Continuities in Perceptions of Poverty and Inequality among Brazilian Elites

Speaker: Professor Elisa Reis (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)

Chair: Professor Mike Savage 

7 February 2018, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

Having researched elite perceptions in Brazil in the 2010s, Reis discussed changes and continuities in the ways those at the top view poverty and inequality, and explored their possible implications for social policy. 

Crisis Politics and the Challenge of Intersectional Solidarity

Co-hosted with Department of Gender Studies

Speaker: Professor Akwugo Emejulu (University of Warwick)

Chair: Dr Aisling Swaine (LSE Gender)  

31st January 2018, 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre

How might we transform the ways in which we think about ‘crisis’, ‘activism’ and 'solidarity'?

Drawing on her new co-authored book, Minority Women and Austerity: Survival and Resistance in France and Britain, Akwugo Emejulu's talk explored the asymmetrical impacts of austerity measures on women of colour and their strategies for resistance in Scotland, England and France.

Video and podcast available here.

Inequalities Seminar: Selective schooling and its relationship to private tutoring: lessons from South Korea

Speaker: Dr Sonia Exley (LSE Social Policy)

30th January, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

In light of recent Conservative Government proposals to expand numbers of academically selective (‘grammar’) schools in England, Dr Sonia Exley considers the possibility that such a policy could fuel further what are already rising levels of private tutoring in England, with implications for inequality and for disadvantaged families. One way to explore such a possibility is to examine whether selective schooling has been important in driving private tutoring trends in other societies. The presentation drew on interviews with experts and stakeholders in the ‘extreme case’ of South Korea – a country with some of the highest family spending on private tutoring in the world and also a long history of selective schooling. Interviewees for this project were in many respects critical of a 1970s ‘equalisation’ of Korean schooling, though they also viewed recent moves back towards selection as being instrumental in fuelling ‘shadow education’. Concern about this issue has driven governments to try and curb schools’ selective powers for a second time in Korean history. Although Korea and England are two different countries with different education systems, there are some reasons to hypothesise on the basis of Korean experience that expanded selective schooling in England may contribute to an expanded private tutoring industry. 

Podcast available here.

Neoliberalism, Social Oppression and Class Relations

25th January, 1pm-8pm, TW2.9.04 and Old Theatre

The LSE International Inequalities Institute and the Department of Anthropology welcome you on 25 January 2018 to a half day conference on ‘Neoliberalism, Social Oppression and Class Relations’ with Philippe Bourgois (keynote lecture), Jeffery Webber, Shelley Feldman, Tithi Bhatacharya and Beverley Skeggs (1-6pm, Room 9.04, Tower 2, Clements Inn, LSE) and an LSE public event evening panel discussion of ‘Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in 21st Century India' with Alpa Shah, Jens Lerche, Philippe Bourgois and Katy Gardner (6.30-8.00 pm followed by a drinks reception, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE)

For further details and to get your free ticket for the conference, please see:

Please note that everyone is welcome to attend LSE public events on a first come-first serve basis, so to avoid disappointment, come early to the Old Theatre for the evening discussion.

Podcast available here.

Inequalities Seminar: Income Inequality and Welfare Systems in the Yugoslav Successor States

Speakers: Dr Will Bartlett (LSEE Research on South East Europe), Dr Nermin Oruč (Center for Development Evaluation and Social Science Research, Sarajevo), Dr Jelena Žarković Rakic (University of Belgrade) and Dr Gorana Krstić (University of Belgrade)

23rd January, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Twenty-five years since the break up of Yugoslavia, the successor states record different levels of income inequality. Slovenia has one of the lowest levels of inequality in Europe, Serbia the highest, while Croatia has an intermediate position. Using the latest survey data (the EU-standard SILC survey on incomes and living conditions) the speakers explore the sources of income that are most important for explaining the emergent income inequalities. Has redistribution through taxes and social transfers been a main cause of differences in disposable income inequality or have differences in the distribution of labour and capital incomes been the main factors involved? How much has inequality been affected by the transitions from a self-managed socialist economy to different varieties of capitalist economies? What has been the role of differing welfare regimes in explaining todays varying inequality levels?

Podcast available here.

Toxic Inequality in the United States: economic inequality and racial injustice driving ugly politics

Speaker: Professor Thomas Shapiro (Brandeis University)

Discussant: Zamila Bunglawala (Race Disparity Unit, Cabinet Office)

Chair: Professor Lucinda Platt (LSE Social Policy)

18th January, 6.30-8pm, Hong Kong Theatre

This lecture was based on Thomas Shapiro's book Toxic Inequality, which examines a powerful and unprecedented convergence in the United States: historic and rising levels of wealth and income inequality in an era of stalled mobility, intersecting with a widening racial wealth gap, all against the backdrop of changing racial and ethnic demographics.

This event was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Video and podcast available here.


Inequalities Seminar: Economic and Racial Drivers of Toxic Inequality in the United States: Two Narratives, One Story

Speaker: Professor Thomas Shapiro (Brandeis University)

16 January, 12.30-2pm, TW2.9.05

Since the Great Recession, most Americans' standard of living has stagnated or declined. Economic inequality is at historic highs. But, economic inequality differs by race; African Americans' net wealth is just a tenth of white Americans, and over recent decades, white families have amassed wealth at three times the rate of black families. Wealth disparities must be understood in tandem with racial inequities--that is a key part of why inequality in the United States is now toxic. The findings from this project draws on a unique set of rich family interviews conducted at a twelve year interval combined with longitudinal survey data. 

Podcast available here.