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Global Inequalities Observatory


The Global Inequalities Observatory seeks to promote rigorous research methods from a wide range of social sciences to foster a greater understanding of the levels, trends, causes, and consequences of economic inequality in multiple countries and regions.

The Observatory aims to monitor the evolution of income and wealth inequality around the world

This programme is led by Professor Stephen Jenkins working with Professor Francisco H.G. Ferreira

The Observatory’s core values for empirical research are (i) rigour; (ii) transparency for reproducibility; and (iii) interdisciplinarity. It aims for broad – but not exhaustive – geographical coverage, including the Global South as well as advanced industrial countries. By working across a range of themes related to economic inequality, the GIO complements – and collaborates with – the Research Programmes currently in operation at the III.

The Observatory houses the following projects: 

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India Observatory

The India Observatory develops and enhances research related to India's economy, politics and society. Theme members work in collaboration with international partners for the generation and exchange of knowledge on India and its position in the world It is, especially with respect to emerging economies.

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Latin American and Caribbean Inequality Review 

The Latin American and Caribbean Inequality Review explores why, despite major structural economic and social change, inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean persists at exceptionally high levels. Understanding the nature, causes and consequences of Latin America’s stable high-inequality equilibrium may provide a basis for action intended to make the region more equitable. 

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Measuring multidimensional employment deprivations in middle income countries

Being employed does not guarantee a basic standard of living or well-being. Therefore, it is important to measure not just the quantity of employment, but the quality of employment. The objective of this project is to re-examine existing approaches to Quality of Employment and provide a coherent theoretical framework for it. 

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SOUTHMOD - simulating tax and benefit policies for development

Research under the SOUTHMOD project aims to promote the use of microsimulation models to analyse the impact of different tax-benefit policy reforms on household incomes and government revenues in the Global South. The project represents a major international collaboration between LSE, UNU-WIDER, the Southern African Social Policy Research Insights (SASPRI), and researchers from the low- and middle-income countries for which the models have been built. 

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Sustainability Performances, Evidence and Scenarios (SPES)

The Sustainability Performances, Evidence and Scenarios (SPES) project addresses the interconnections between economic growth, human flourishing, and sustainability. The overall goal of the SPES project, is to contribute to the transition towards sustainable human development in European countries and regions.

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UK LIS Satellite Office 

The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) database is the largest available income database of harmonised microdata from approximately 50 countries, spanning five decades. The UK LIS Satellite Office promotes the use of the LIS Databases in the UK and serves as the point of liaison between UK LIS data users.