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News Archive 2016

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The Relationship between Inequality and Poverty: mechanisms and policy options
LSE Works public lecture

This lecture examines the empirical relationship between economic inequality and poverty across countries and over time, paying attention to different measurement issues. It then considers a range of potential mechanisms driving this relationship and explores policy options. 

Eleni Karagiannaki is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at LSE. Her research focuses on income and wealth inequality and poverty and socio-economic mobility.

Abigail McKnight is an Associate Professorial Research Fellow and Associate Director of Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at LSE where she has worked since 1999.  Her research interests include inequality, poverty, wealth, social mobility and employment policy.

Further information about this event

News Posted: 16 December 2016      [Back to the Top]

Government and Public Services in an Age of Fiscal Consolidation:
Comparative views from France and the UK

Dr Polina Obolenskaya, Dr Bert Provan and Professor Kitty Stewart are presenting their research at a conference jointly organised by Universities of Paris 1 and Paris 3, together with Policy Network in London and several other institutional partners, on the subject of "Government and Public Services in an Age of Fiscal Consolidation: Comparative Views from France and the United Kingdom". The programme includes plenary sessions as well as workshops on governance and finance, and sectoral studies (energy, employment, education, housing, and health). A round table on Brexit will close the conference on Saturday 3 December.
News Posted: 21 November 2016      [Back to the Top]

Charles Booth Centenary Lectures
III Public Lectures, November 3rd 2016

This event, which coincides with the LSE Research Festival 2016, is part of a wider LSE celebration of pioneering social scientist Charles Booth, who died in 1916, and whose original survey into life and labour in London is held in the LSE Library.

Booth's investigation of poverty in London provides a key example both of the creative development of social science and of the ways in which research may be used to have a positive impact on society. The event brings together a group of scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the substance of Booth's ideas as well as his broader legacy for the social sciences and for contemporary social analysis.

 The event is free and open to all on a first come first serve basis. If you wish to register your interest in advance, send an e-mail to

The event programme is listed below. Drop in for one or several sessions.

  • Session 1: 2.15-3.00pm -  Welcome and Introduction: Charles Booth and the Social Sciences
    Prof Mary Morgan (LSE Economic History Dept)
    Chair: Prof Nicola Lacey (LSE Law Dept and International Inequalities Institute)
    Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building.

  • Session 2: 3.15-4.15 - Economy, Work, Pay, Class - Then and Now
    : Profs Alan Manning (LSE Economics Dept), Stephen Machin (LSE Centre for Economic Performance), Fran Tonkiss (LSE Sociology Dept)
    Chair: Prof Nicola Lacey
    Venue: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

  • 4.15-4.45 Coffee break

  • Session 3: 4.45-5.45 Housing, Health, Personal Circumstances, Criminality - Then and Now
    Dr Suzi Hall (LSE Cities), Profs Anne Power (LSE Social Policy Dept, LSE Housing and Communities), Emily Grundy (LSE Sociology Dept) and Tim Newburn (Social Policy Dept)
    ChairDr Suki Ali (LSE Sociology Dept)
    Venue:  Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

  • Session 4: 6.00-7.00pm"The Chain: How Inequality Works"
     Prof John Hills (LSE International Inequalities Institute and Social Policy Dept)
    Chair: Prof Julia Black
    Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

This lecture will trace some of the ways in which rising inequalities in income and wealth and the policies associated with them are driving the housing crisis for those at the margins. 

For a map of campus, see here.

News Posted: 24 October 2016      [Back to the Top]

Government plans will reallocate nursery funding
from poorer to richer children

The government’s grammar schools plans have been covered widely with evidence presented that in practice, academic selection increases educational inequality, and strengthens the relationship between social background and attainment. In contrast, plans to change the funding system for nurseries and pre-schools have received little attention. But these reforms actually pose a greater threat to social mobility than proposals to expand grammar schools, argue Kitty Stewart and Ludovica Gambaro for the LSE British Politics and Policy blog. continue reading

News Posted: 29 September 2016      [Back to the Top]

New Global Welfare Futures seminar series
LSE Department of Social Policy

All lectures will be held in Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE. Maps here

Can the Welfare States survive?
Speaker:  Prof Andrew Gamble (Cambridge/ Sheffield)
Tues 27th Sept,  6pm

The Return of the Family? Variation across post-industrial societies
Speaker:  Prof Mary Brinton (Harvard)
Tues 25th Oct,  6pm

Global Capitalism and the Rise of Inequality:  re-embedding (labour) markets and employment relations ?
Speaker:  Prof Lane Kenworthy (UC San Diego)
Wed 9th Nov, 6pm

Re-imagining Civil Society Engagement:  in search of social innovation
Speaker: Prof Maurizio Ferrera (Milan)
Wed 23rd Nov,  2pm

News Posted: 22 September 2016      [Back to the Top]

Climate Change, Inequality and Social Policy
A new interdisciplinary seminar series starting in Autumn 2016

Three institutes in LSE are hosting a new seminar series: the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (GRI), the Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and the new International Inequalities Institute (III). It will be chaired by Prof Ian Gough, Visiting Professor at CASE and Associate at Grantham.


The overlap between environmental pressures and degradation on the one hand and the ‘social dimension’ of inequality and human wellbeing on the other hand is of immense importance but under-researched. There is a yawning gap to be filled by a coherent, exciting and interdisciplinary research agenda. This series of seminars will explore and develop that agenda.  

The seminars will be focused in two ways: on global warming and climate change rather than a wider range of environmental problems, and on the UK and other rich countries - the ‘welfare states’ of the OECD, roughly the same as and the Kyoto Annex II countries.


The first six seminars of the series will take place on:


Thursday 3rd November 2016, 12.00-13.30 with Prof Ian Gough link to recording and presentation slides of this event.

Thursday 1st December 2016, 12.00-13:30 'Carbon and Inequality: from Measurement to Policy' with Lucas Chancel, Research Fellow New Prosperity, IDDRI Paris (Sciences Po) and Dario Kenner, Visiting Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute based (Anglia Ruskin University) recording and presentation slides from this event.


Thursday 16th February 2017
The Health Co-benefits of the low carbon economy  

Professor Paul Wilkinson, London School of Medicine and Tropical Hygiene
Can the co-benefits of climate action help to deliver social equity?

Dr Alison Smith, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Can local carbon reduction programmes work in disadvantaged areas?

Dr Ruth Mayne, Oxfam GB and Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford 

Sign up for this seminar


Thursday 9th March 2017

Carbon and Time

Low carbon fun? A time use perspective towards sustainabilityProfessor Angela Druckman (Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, Universityof Surrey)

The case for a shorter working week Anna Coote (Principal Fellow at the New Economics Foundation and the author of 'Time on our Side')

Sign up for this seminar


Thursday 27th April 2017
Would income redistribution result in higher aggregate emissions?
Lutz Sager, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE.

Sign up for this seminar


Thursday 25th May 2017
Postgrowth and Wellbeing 

Professor Max Koch, Lund University and Dr Milena Buchs, University of Leeds

Sign up for this seminar


 A sandwich lunch and refreshments are provided.

News Posted: 22 August 2016      [Back to the Top]

North-South economic and social divide still growing
suggests new CASE and University of Manchester research

The analysis suggests that the economic divergence between London and the Northern regions in England continues to grow. The gaps are also growing in relation to a number of social outcomes, such as education and health, with improvement in these outcomes in London being in line with economic conditions in the capital bouncing back to pre-recession levels or beyond while the North lags behind. But economic growth in London has not resulted in reduced poverty or inequality. The full paper is available here: Pulling in the Same Direction? Economic and Social Outcomes in London and the North of England Since the Recession, by Polina Obolenskaya, Ruth Lupton and Bert Provan.

News Posted: 02 August 2016      [Back to the Top]

Our research for the Papworth Trust and Habinteg
highlights a hidden housing market for 1.8m disabled people

New findings show a significant demand for accessible housing to rent and buy. Conducted by LSE Housing and Communities (CASE) and Ipsos MORI, the report, The hidden housing market, uncovers a fresh view that challenges assumptions about the potential for disabled people to buy their own home. The report also sheds light on the wider appeal of homes that deliver higher quality accessible features.

Headline findings:

  • 1.8 million disabled people have an unmet housing need – 580,000 of whom are of working age (there are 11.6 million disabled people in the UK)

  • Of the 1.8 million disabled people needing accessible homes, 56% are home owners with 39% having incomes in the top half of the income distribution

  • 19% of the British public would most favour moving to a different property specifically designed or adapted to enable them to live independently in later life

  • Impact of unmet housing need for accessible housing – disabled people living in inaccessible homes are four times more likely to be unemployed.

The report also demonstrates some of the profound effects on working age disabled people of not having their need for accessible housing met, including an impact on health and wellbeing, the ability to engage in community life and, crucially, the employment market. For more information see the full CASE research report No Place Like An Accessible Home: Quality of life and opportunity for disabled people with accessible housing needs.

News Posted: 01 August 2016      [Back to the Top]

Tania Burchardt to become Director of CASE
from September 2016


After over 18 years in the role, John Hills will be stepping-down as Director of CASE from mid-September, reflecting the increasing demands on his time as Co-Director of the recently established LSE International Inequalities Institute.


Tania Burchardt, currently Deputy Director will become Director of CASE.  Tania will be supported by Abigail McKnight, Kitty Stewart and Polly Vizard as Associate Directors, while Anne Power will continue to direct the LSE Housing and Communities Group. 


CASE colleagues are delighted that John will continue to be involved in an advisory function as Chair of CASE and through continuing research as part of the centre.

News Posted: 08 July 2016      [Back to the Top]

Three new major evidence reviews for the
European Commission are now available


Over the last year or so we have been conducting three major evidence reviews for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion.  We were given the opportunity to present findings to the EU’s Social Protection Committee, the European Social Policy Network and at a half-day seminar at the European Commission.  We are pleased to inform you that these evidence reviews have just been published by the Commission and are free to download.

Evidence review - Creating More Equal Societies: What Works?

 by Abigail McKnight, Magali Duque and Mark Rucci

The aim of
this review is to assess the effectiveness of education, wage setting institutions and welfare states in reducing inequality. Education both empowers people and provides them with tradeable skills to secure a decent income – greater equality in individuals’ ability to generate income in the labour market is key to producing more equitable outcomes.

Evidence shows that imbalances in power result in some workers being underpaid while others are overpaid. Collective wage bargaining and minimum wages have proved to be successful in reducing wage inequality.

Curbs on the power of top executives, power which has allowed them to take an increasing share of the wagebill to the detriment of other workers and form a politically powerful elite, need further development.

Welfare states need to evolve to meet the challenges of ‘new inequalities’ and changing employment landscapes, but are essential now and will continue to be essential in the future to help individuals redistribute income over their own lives as well as between the rich and poor.


Evidence review - Low pay and in-work poverty: preventative measures and preventative approaches


by Abigail McKnight, Kitty Stewart, Sam Mohun Himmelweit and Marco Palillo


The evidence presented in this review highlights the benefits of preventing individuals entering low paid work as they can become trapped in low paid jobs or end up cycle between unemployment and precarious, low quality work. In countries where collective wage bargaining institutions declined or even disappeared in the latter part of the 20th Century, governments have been forced to piece together a number of policies to replace the role they played in creating wage floors and reducing inequality. These include minimum wages and (costly) in-work benefits. Reducing the incidence of low pay also has the benefit of reducing in-work poverty. 

However, the review emphasises that an effective anti-poverty strategy requires a portfolio of additional measures as well – not all low paid workers are living in poor households and not all workers living in poor households are low paid.  These additional measures include improving job stability and quality, increasing maternal employment and encouraging greater sharing of paid and unpaid work within the household, and – crucially – supporting families with children through universal child benefits and/or tax credits to lower earning households. The role of the latter is particularly important, both because of the higher incidence of in-work poverty in households with children, and because of the long-term consequences of growing up in poverty for children’s lives and opportunities.


Evidence review - The Strength of the Link between Income Support and Activation


by Abigail McKnight and Arnaud Vaganay

integration of the administration of income support claims and public employment services in many countries has had a number of benefits which include cost savings, reinforcement of the link between benefit receipt and the need to find work, and easier access to labour market programmes. 

The effectiveness of linking activation with income support receipt depends on the suitability of the activation programme.  The review concludes that in the short-term activation programmes that ‘push’ jobseekers into work may appear to be more effective than programmes that invest in the employability of jobseekers.

However, in the longer term there is a greater tendency for jobseekers pushed to take the first available job to cycle between unemployment and precarious forms of employment while programmes that seek to improve the job match and enhance the skills of jobseekers result in better longer term employment outcomes.
News Posted: 01 July 2016      [Back to the Top]

Latest in the series of blogs for Trust for London
Inequalities and disadvantage in London – focus on ethnicity

The new London Mayor Sadiq Khan was elected in May on a platform of fairness, with commitments to a more equal London, the creation of a new economic fairness unit within the GLA and tackling low pay. In this latest blog we look at disparities in key economic outcomes (unemployment, youth unemployment, low pay, income and wealth) in London by ethnic group.

The findings are drawn from our comprehensive report on inequality and disadvantage in London published last year, The Changing Anatomy of Economic Inequality in London (2007-2013). The report provided a detailed picture of what happened to different population groups in London in the wake of the crisis and downturn. In a series of blogs we are expanding that analysis by ‘drilling down’ into different aspects of inequality in London.

Other blogs in this series:

What happened to inequality in London following the crisis and downturn?

Inequalities and disadvantage in London – focus on Disability

Inequalities and disadvantage in London: focus on Religion and Belief

News Posted: 22 June 2016      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities Book Launch
Cities for a Small Continent: International Handbook of City Recovery by Professor Anne Power

LSE Housing and Communities, with support from La Fabrique de la Cité invites you to the launch of Anne Power's latest publication 'Cities for a Small Continent'. This book draws together 10 years of ground-level research into the ways Europe's ex-industrial cities are treading new paths in sustainability. Anne Power uses seven case-study cities to detail how and why city change happens, and how cities in the world's smallest, most crowded, most city-loving continent can build a more viable, balanced and sustainable urban future.

To purchase a copy of Cities for a Small Continent, please visit the Policy Press website

Listen to the podcast:

Chaired by Professor Ricky Burdett, this event will explore the causes and consequences of urban challenges in post-industrial European cities and the potential that their model offers in creating more sustainable cities. Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution will situate this study in a US-context whilst Anne Power will set out the European perspective. Speakers confirmed are:
  • Professor Ricky Burdett, LSE Cities
  • Professor Anne Power, LSE Housing and Communities and Professor of Social Policy
  • Bruce Katz, Centennial Scholar at the Brookings Institution
Cities for a Small Continent will be available to buy at the event. There will also be an opportunity to have your book signed by Anne Power and Bruce Katz.

The event is free but booking is essential. Please RSVP to to register your interest.

Old Theatre, Old Building, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London WC2A 3PH

LSE Housing Special Event

News Posted: 24 May 2016      [Back to the Top]

Sanctions and inequalities: what do we know and need to know about the impact of benefit sanctions
on particular groups?


CASE and UK Administrative Justice Institute (UKAJI) jointly held a seminar with a panel discussion on 16th March 2016.


It brought together three speakers who have investigated different aspects of the impact of sanctions, and provided the opportunity for participants to discuss the evidence and gaps in our knowledge. Presentation slides and associated papers are available below.



Anne Power (CASE, LSE)

How are sanctions hitting people’s lives? Community-level evidence


Aaron Reeves (International Inequalities Institute, LSE)

Does applying sanctions to unemployment benefit recipients increase welfare exit and employment? A cross-area analysis of UK sanctioning reforms  download here

Working paper: Do punitive approaches to unemployment benefit recipients increase welfare exit and employment? download here


David Webster (University of Glasgow)

Sanctions: The Missing Evidence download here

Listen to the presentations here  


Discussants: Michael Adler (University of Edinburgh) and Maurice Sunkin (UKAJI)

Notes from the session available to download here

Listen to the discussion here

News Posted: 16 March 2016      [Back to the Top]

Date for your diary: 27th April
What was the impact of the Coalition government on social policy outcomes and welfare governance?

Venue: London School of Economics, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
Wednesday 27th April 2016, 3.00 - 6.00 pm, followed by a drinks reception

Speakers:  Professor Hugh Bochel, Professor Sir John Hills, Professor Ruth Lupton, Professor Martin Powell, Dr Polly Vizard

Respondents: Nick Timmins 
(The King's Fund, Institute for Government, former public policy editor at the Financial Times) and Peter Taylor Gooby (Research Professor of Social Policy at the University of Kent)

Chair: Professor Coretta Phillips 

This event will launch two new complementary publications analysing UK social policy from 2010 to 2015.  Hugh Bochel and Martin Powell will introduce The Coalition government and social policy: restructuring the welfare state and Ruth Lupton will present on the key findings from Social Policy in a Cold Climate: policies and their consequences since the crisisPolly Vizard and Martin Powell will jointly present on “What happened in health services? John Hills will then lead a short commentary to be followed by a discussion led by the respondents Nick Timmins and Peter Taylor-Gooby. There will then be an opportunity for questions from the audience.

Hugh Bochel is Professor of Public Policy at the University of Lincoln. 

John Hills is Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy, Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and Co-Director of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE.

Ruth Lupton is Professor of Education at the University of Manchester. 

Martin Powell is Professor of Health and Social Policy, University of Birmingham.

Coretta Phillips is An Associate Professor of Social Policy at the LSE

Dr Polly Vizard is a Associate Professorial Research Fellow at CASE, LSE.

This event is free and open to all please register your interest by email to

News Posted: 03 March 2016      [Back to the Top]

Child poverty measures: why academics and the House of Lords have challenged the government proposals
LSE British Politics and Policy blog by Kitty Stewart

This week the House of Commons will be discussing the Welfare Reform and Work Bill once again. Discussing the bill in January, the Lords decided that the government should continue to track and report annually on the existing suite of four child poverty indicators – which the Conservative government is seeking to abolish. In their place, the government wants to report on an alternative set of “life chances measures”, which will include education attainment at age 16 and household worklessness. Kitty Stewart argues that the government should listen to the House of Lords and to expert opinion and retain the official child poverty measures. Continue reading at LSE British Politics and Policy.

News Posted: 22 February 2016      [Back to the Top]

Hardship and shame: what Thomas More's Utopia can teach us about modern social security
LSE British Politics and Policy blog post by John Hills

Thomas More’s Utopia was published 500 years ago, in 1516, following discussions that had started in Antwerp the previous year. John Hills has been part of a European research programme on contemporary poverty reduction in Europe co-ordinated by Antwerp University, and was asked to reflect on connections between More’s fable and today’s debates. Utopians would generally not behave badly, he writes. Their behaviour was not reinforced by tangible incentives but by a cultural belief in lifetime honours, after death rewards and punishment on one hand, and a fear of being shamed if they behaved badly on the other. Today, in a blog for LSE British Politics and Policy he explains, this balance has disappeared as the debate on social security and anti-poverty strategy is dominated by worries about incentives and disincentives.

News Posted: 22 February 2016      [Back to the Top]