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Book Launch, 27 March 2014
Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences

An audio recording of the launch event can be found here

cover Increasing inequalities across some of the richest countries in the world are not inevitable according to findings from an international research project, which included a team of researchers from LSE. Published in two volumes, launched at LSE on 27 March 2014, the research shows that public policy plays a key role in shaping national inequalities even within a highly globalized set of rich countries. Information on inequality trends was gathered across 30 countries over the last 30 years.

Evidence of tax reforms across many of the countries reveals a trend towards lowering marginal tax rates for high earners, reductions in taxes on capital and capital income and removal or reductions in inheritance tax. This has been coupled with a reduction in the effectiveness of welfare states in ameliorating background inequality pressures.  This is despite attitudinal data which reveals that people in these countries expressed a dislike for inequality in their societies and believed that governments should do more to redistribute income or increase spending on programmes to enhance opportunity.   

The research also found that increases in inequalities have been accompanied by falling political participation with fewer people voting in political elections or actively engaging in politics, with much greater falls occurring among the least advantaged members of societies than the more privileged. 

Dr Abigail McKnight, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion| (CASE) at LSE, said: “Concern has been growing about increases in concentration of income and wealth among a small group of people and the relationship between this group and an emerging privileged political elite. This new evidence on inequality trends, political participation and evolving public policy is a concern for all democracies. The danger is that disenfranchised groups are left open to being drawn in by emerging minority political parties expressing narrow populist views
“In the UK we found that, over the period, voter turnout in UK general elections fell. The gap between voters in the Professional social class and those in the Unskilled social class widened from 10 percentage points in 1992 to 25 percentage points in 2005 with a similar gap found in the 2010 general election.”

Within the group of countries studied there were examples of stable income inequality, including Belgium and Southern European countries. Even though the general trend was upwards, the timing of increases was variable and in some countries there were even periods where inequality fell.
The central and eastern European countries –  transforming from Soviet-led economies to free market economies –  tended to experience large increases in inequality but some navigated the path better than others. This partly reflects the diverse nature of this group of countries and the role of public policy. These countries appear to have polarised into a relatively high inequality grouping (including Latvia, Bulgaria and Lithuania) and a relatively low inequality grouping (including Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic).

The research also examined evidence on the impact of inequality on a wide variety of social, cultural and political factors. Some previous research has suggested that inequality is associated with a range of ‘social ills’. Here the evidence was more mixed and while some areas seem to show a clear relationship with inequality –  for example, political engagement, attitudes, some types of crime and imprisonment – this was not evident in others, for example, marriage and divorce, economic stress, life expectancy, overall crime rates. Individuals’ outcomes were often found to be more strongly influenced by wider social change, such as family configuration, and technological advances, such as health and crime, and policy played an important role in weakening the link between inequality, opportunity and outcomes. What did emerge was that in a number of areas income inequality cast a shadow by increasing social gradients (the gaps between the least and most advantaged) in, for example, political engagement, health and social mobility.

The project ‘Growing Inequalities’ Impacts’| (GINI) was funded through the EU FP7 research programme (February 2010 – July 2013)  . The London School of Economics was one of six core country partners (Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, UK) led by Wiemer Salverda at the University of Amsterdam. This study involved over 200 researchers and analysed data for 30 countries (all 27 EU countries except Malta and Cyprus plus Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea and the US) covering a period of over 30 years. The project produced country reports covering all 30 countries, around 100 discussion papers, policy papers, reviews and reports, all of which contributed to the two OUP volumes.

Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives| Editors: Wiemer Salverda, Brian Nolan, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst, Oxford University Press

Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences|
Editors: Brian Nolan, Wiemer Salverda, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth and Herman van de Werfhorst, Oxford University Press 

To mark the launch, Oxford University Press have agreed to offer a 30% discount on book sales at the event or ordered online (details here).



News Posted: 19 March 2014      [Back to the Top]

Book Launch
All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster by Danny Dorling

Tuesday 18th March 2014, 6.30-8.00pm
A ground-breaking examination of the UK’s dangerous relationship with the housing market, and how easily it could, will, come crashing down

From “generation rent” to rising homelessness, the government’s Help to Buy scheme to the proposed “mansion tax”, and negative equity to the recent sell-off of a London council house for £3million, housing is the one issue that affects us all.
Housing was at the heart of the financial collapse, and in this ground-breaking new book, Danny Dorling argues that housing is the defining issue of our times.
Tracing how we got to our current crisis and how housing has come to reflect class and wealth in Britain, All That Is Solid radically shows that the solution to our problems - rising homelessness, a generation priced out of home ownership - is not, as is widely assumed, building more homes. Inequality, he argues, is what we really need to overcome.
Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor in Geography at the University of Oxford, will launch his new book All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster in a joint LSE Housing and Communities and CASE event at LSE on Tuesday 18th March (6.30-8.00pm) in TW1.G.01, Ground Floor, Tower One, Clements Passage, London WC2A 2AZ. This event is free but booking is essential. To request a seat for this event, please email or telephone 020 7955 6330.

“Dorling is that rare university professor: expert, politically engaged and able to explain simply why his subject matters. He describes modern Britain as the most unequal society since Dickens's times, and picks apart the orthodoxies that allow such unfairness.”                                                                     
Martin Wainwright, the Guardian

Danny Dorling: All that is Solid: The Great Housing Disaster
London: Allen Lane
Hardback £20.00 ISBN 9781846147159
E-book also available
Published on 27th February 2014
To order this book please see:

News Posted: 18 March 2014      [Back to the Top]

CASE Book Launch
An Equal Start? Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children

Wednesday 19th February 2014 4.30pm - 6.00pm followed by an informal reception

London School of Economics, Room 1.04. 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PH (Map and directions)

Presentations from the editors Ludovica Gambaro and Kitty Stewart. Jane Waldfogel will join via video link.


  • Vidhya Alakeson, Resolution Foundation
  • Leon Feinstein, Early Intervention Foundation.


  • Howard Glennerster, Emeritus Professor, LSE

This presentation marks the launch of the book 'An Equal Start? Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children', published by Policy Press, edited by Ludovica Gambaro, Kitty Stewart and Jane Waldfogel. The book examines how the UK and seven other OECD countries manage the provision of early education and care, and focuses in particular on the way that funding and regulation mechanisms operate to ensure that disadvantaged children access high quality provision. The study looks at countries where the private and voluntary sectors are involved in delivery of early education and care and asks whether experience elsewhere offers potential lessons for the UK. The countries included are: Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, and the US.

This work was part of a larger project generously funded by the Nuffield Foundation and carried out in conjunction with Daycare Trust (now Family and Childcare Trust)

To book a place please click here
News Posted: 19 February 2014      [Back to the Top]

GINI project
Publication of research findings

Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries

Edited by Wiemer Salverda, Brian Nolan, Daniele Checchi, Ive Marx, Abigail McKnight, István György Tóth, and Herman G. van de Werfhorst

The GINI project reached its conclusion following three and a half years of collaborative research into changing inequalities in 30 countries. The project looks at the long-term impacts of inequalities on social, political, cultural and economic aspects of life Two volumes based on the findings have just been published by Oxford University Press. Details of the launch event to follow soon. Further information can be found on the The GINI website

Volume one: Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives

This volume investigates inequality trends in income, wealth, education, and the labour market, providing detailed information on inequality experiences across 30 countries examining trends over 30 years.  The research combines statistically sophisticated comparative analysis with evidence from individual countries' experiences to examine the relationship between changes in inequality and societal, cultural and political outcomes. This is followed by an assessment of the policy response across countries.


Volume two: Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries' Experiences

The second volume applies a consistent analytical framework across 30 different countries examining trends over 30 years, providing detailed background and information about inequality experiences and impacts in individual countries.  These case-studies bring out the variety of country experiences and the importance of framing inequality trends in the institutional and policy context of each country.

News Posted: 12 February 2014      [Back to the Top]