Professor Kirsten  Sehnbruch

Professor Kirsten Sehnbruch

Distinguished Policy Fellow

International Inequalities Institute

Room No
CBG 4.03
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Key Expertise
Multidimensional Indicators, Social and Labour Policies, Latin America

About me

Kirsten Sehnbruch is currently acting director of the International Inequalities Institute. She is a British Academy Global Professor and a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, she was a Research Fellow at the Universidad de Chile, Director of the Institute for Public Policy at the Universidad Diego Portales (Chile), and a Lecturer at the University of California, at Berkeley.

During 2018, Kirsten was awarded a British Academy Global Professorship to study the conceptualization and the measurement of the quality of employment in developing countries from the perspective of the capability approach. From a theoretical perspective, she examines employment as a missing dimension of the capability approach; empirically, she has established a summary indicator of job quality for 13 Latin American countries, which will be extended to other regions of the Global South going forwards. Learn more about Kirsten's current project. Her work informs social, labour and development policy more broadly as it allows for resources to be targeted at the most vulnerable workers in a labour market. 

Kirsten’s articles have been published by The Cambridge Journal of Economics, Development and Change, Latin American Perspectives and the International Labour Review. She is the author of the book The Chilean Labor Market: A Key to Understanding Latin American Labor Markets (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), and with Peter Siavelis co-editor of Democratic Chile: The Politics and Policies of a Historic Coalition, 1990-2010 (Lynne Rienner, 2014). She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in Social and Political Sciences in 2004.



Sehnbruch, K., Carranza, R. and Contreras, D. (2022) Designing Unemployment Insurance Systems in Developing Countries: Moral Hazard vs Liquidity Constraints in Chile. Forthcoming in Journal of Development Studies.

Sehnbruch, K., Siavelis, P., Barozet, E. and Ulloa, V. (2022) Public Appointments as Informal Institutions: Lessons from the Cuoteo in Chile, 1990-2017. Forthcoming in Revista Chilena de Ciencias Políticas.

Apablaza, M., Sehnbruch, K., González, P. and Mendez Pineda, R. (2022) Regional inequality in multidimensional quality of employment (QoE): insights from Chile, 1996-2017. Forthcoming in Regional Studies.

Sehnbruch, K. and Donoso, S. (2020) Social protests in Chile: inequalities and other inconvenient truths about Latin America's poster child. Global Labour Journal, 11 (1). (In Press)

Sehnbruch, K., Apablaza, M., Gonzalez, P., Mendez, R. and Arriagada, V. (2020) The quality of employment (QoE) in nine Latin American countries: a multidimensional perspective. World Development, 127. ISSN 0305-750X 

Madero-Cabib, I., Biehl, A., Sehnbruch, K., Calvo, E., & Bertranou, F. (2019). Private Pension Systems Built on Precarious Foundations: A Cohort Study of Labor-Force Trajectories in Chile. Research on Aging, 41(10), 961–987.

Piasna, A., Burchell, B., & Sehnbruch, K. (2019). Job quality in European employment policy: one step forward, two steps back? . Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 25(2), 165–180. 

Sehnbruch, K., Carranza, R. & Prieto, J. (2018). The Political Economy of Unemployment Insurance based on Individual Savings Accounts: Lessons from Chile. Development and Change, 50: 948-975.

Sehnbruch, K., Burchell, B., Agloni, N., & Piasna, A. (2015). Human Development and Decent Work: Why some Concepts Succeed and Others Fail to Make an Impact: Human Development and Decent Work. Development and Change, 46(2), 197–224.

Ramos, J., Sehnbruch, K., & Weller, J. (2015). Quality of employment in Latin America: Theory and evidence. International Labour Review, 154(2), 171–194.

Ruiz-Tagle, J., & Sehnbruch, K. (2015). More but not better jobs in Chile? The fundamental importance of open-ended contracts. International Labour Review, 154(2), 227–252.

Ocampo, J. A., & Sehnbruch, K. (2015). Introduction: Quality of employment in Latin America. International Labour Review, 154(2), 165–170.

Burchell, B., Sehnbruch, K., Piasna, A. & Agloni, N. (2014). The quality of employment and decent work: definitions, methodologies, and ongoing debates. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 38(2), 459-477.

Sehnbruch, K. (2006). Unemployment Insurance or Individual Savings Accounts: Can Chile’S New Scheme Serve as a Model for Other Developing Countries? International Social Security Review, 59(1), 27–48.