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News Archive 2020

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John Hills

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our friend and colleague Professor Sir John Hills. John joined the LSE in 1986 and played a significant role in STICERD's Welfare State Programme before co-founding CASE in 1997, which he directed between 1997 and 2016. He also co-directed the LSE's International Inequalities Institute 2015-2018 and was Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the LSE and the Chair of CASE. John will be remembered as a brilliant scholar and an intellectual giant who made tremendous contributions to social science. His work has had a major impact on social policy, especially in relation to poverty and inequality. He was a generous colleague, and a kind and modest man. To many of us he was an inspiration, mentor and a friend and we will miss him sorely. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Anne Power and to their family.

View our tribute website to John here.

News Posted: 23 December 2020      [Back to the Top]

LSE iQ podcast with Kitty Stewart on child poverty

Dr Kitty Stewart talked to Joanne Bale on the LSE iQ podcast about her recent Social Policies and Distributional Outcomes in a Changing Britain research on child poverty. The discussion aims at answering the question 'How can we end child poverty in the UK?' and is available here.

News Posted: 07 December 2020      [Back to the Top]

New CASE report on the city of Walbrzych

Opportunities and good practice which can drive social and economic regeneration in a small post industrial city are explored in this recent report from CASE. Funded by the European Investment Bank as one of their "Advisory Hub" commissioned projects, it explores the problems of the Polish city of Walbrzych, in Lower Silesia. Walbrzych is a "Green City" nestling in the Sudety Mountains, with a historic centre and major tourist site of the Ksiaz Castle. But it also has extensive and degraded ex mining housing, derelict land, and residual mining sites, and in 2009 was alleged to be "the most revolting town in Poland". Falling population and concentrated neighbourhood poverty, as well as high historic city debt are amongst the continuing challenges, even with a dynamic and green focused city President and administration.

The LSE team - including two Polish regeneration experts - conducted extensive interviewing and document review to identify the main problems and issues. The EIB brief was to identify good practice which could be helpful to Walbrzych in moving forward, and this culminated in four workshops involving nine cities and three European experts meeting City senior officials - but due to COVID this was all done by means of Zoom meetings.

Extensive documentation including the report, five case studies of similar cities, the background presentations and documentation to the workshop meetings, and recordings of the workshops can be found on the Walbrzych city website.

News Posted: 24 September 2020      [Back to the Top]

Abigail McKnight appointed new Director of CASE from September 2020

After four years, Tania Burchardt stood down as CASE Director at the beginning of September 2020. We are very grateful to Tania for her contribution and are delighted that she is staying with CASE and joining Kitty Stewart and Polly Vizard as an associate director. She also remains Deputy Director of STICERD and an Associate Professor in Social Policy at LSE.
CASE's new Director Abigail McKnight is a research economist focusing mainly on quantitative research and policy analysis. She joined CASE in 1999 and enjoys working in an interdisciplinary environment. Her research interests include social mobility, household wealth and debt, minimum wages, the relationship between inequality and poverty, evaluating employment policy, applying the capability approach to measuring and understanding multidimensional inequality and designing policy toolkits. She led the development of the Multidimensional Inequality Framework which provides a systematic, theoretically-grounded approach to measuring and addressing inequality in high, middle and low income countries.
Her research has been published in the Economic Journal, the Review of Income and Wealth, the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Socio-Economic Review and Oxford Economic Papers.
She has recently held research grants from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Nuffield Foundation, the European Commission, the Social Mobility Commission and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. She organises CASE Welfare Policy and Analysis Seminars (supported by the Department of Work and Pensions), is an associate of the LSE's International Inequalities Institute and an Editorial Board member of Social Inclusion.

News Posted: 14 September 2020      [Back to the Top]

Dr Abigail McKnight on early asset holding

An article by the Guardian on the child trust fund (CTF) quotes research from Dr Abigail McKnight.

According to her research 'Early asset holding does have positive effects on later wages, employment prospects, excellent general health and in reducing malaise.' Read the full article here.

The research paper titled 'Estimates of the asset-effect: the search for a causal effect of assets on adult health and employment outcomes' is available here.

News Posted: 03 September 2020      [Back to the Top]

Open Letter to Boris Johnson to tackle child poverty

An open letter to Boris Johnson was initiated by Kitty Stewart and signed by many academics including other CASE members and associates, Tania Burchardt, Kerris Cooper, John Hills, Abigail McKnight, Polly Vizard, Kate Summers, Susan Harkness and Glen Bramley. The letter appeared on the Independent and is available here.
News Posted: 30 June 2020      [Back to the Top]

BBC Radio 4 interview with Kitty Stewart on child poverty

Kitty Stewart was invited to talk about child poverty on BBC Radio 4. The segment from the radio show is available here (from minute 12:35 onwards).
News Posted: 24 June 2020      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities - New Research Project
Mutual Aid Groups and community responses to COVID-19


LSE Housing and Communities has a long-standing interest in the role of mutual aid and self-help groups in developing responses to community problems. Since the start of the lockdown, 10 million people have volunteered to help in their communities and thousands of mutual aid groups have been created across the UK.

LSE Housing and Communities are currently carrying out a piece of research exploring these community responses to COVID-19 and are keen to capture the work that is being done.

We want to answer three key research questions:

  1. What drives the rapid development of voluntary neighbourhood and street 'Mutual Aid' groups, forming to support vulnerable, sick, and elderly "socially isolated" people in the current health emergency?
  2. What forms of help are more prominent in this emerging movement?
  3. How can the emergence of neighbourhood support groups help inform the government’s policy development to combat the worst effects of COVID-19?

We are in the process of contacting groups from across the country and carrying out telephone interviews with key organisers, volunteers and the people they are helping. We want to understand what motivates these people to help, how they groups were formed and what practical actions they are taking to help people in the community.

We will also be holding an online knowledge-exchange workshop for mutual aid groups to share their ideas and experiences. The research will help us understand the crucial role of community in the pandemic and what lessons can be learnt going forward.

This research is supported by the LSE's COVID-19 Response Fund and the Marshall Institute as part of its response to the COVID-19 crisis.

News Posted: 08 June 2020      [Back to the Top]

Welcome to STICERD and CASE's new manager Annie-Rose Nicholas

Annie-Rose Nicholas

This month we welcome Annie-Rose Nicholas who will be taking over the management of STICERD and CASE.

Annie joins us from Imperial College, where she was Section Manager in the Centre for Inflammatory Disease. At Imperial, Annie was the main point of contact for all academic and research staff within the Centre, for finance and HR tasks. Her role also involved costing the resources required for research grant applications and managing an existing portfolio of research projects.

We welcome Annie and hope we will soon be working together in our offices in Lincoln Inn's Fields.

News Posted: 01 April 2020      [Back to the Top]

Farewell to STICERD and CASE's manager Jane Dickson

Jane Dickson

On the 31st of March we said goodbye to STICERD and CASE manager Jane Dickson who retired after 40 years of working at the LSE. Jane managed STICERD for more than 30 years and CASE since its inception in 1997.

Jane has provided exceptional support and organisation to both STICERD and CASE. As Centre Manager she demonstrated outstanding collegiality in terms of her advice, support and help for all members of staff and also in terms of keeping the centres' research community interconnected and collaborative.

In the words of her colleagues:

"I am sure her dedication and generosity have not only been profoundly helpful to countless many people, but have more profoundly shaped the working culture at STICERD / CASE contributing to making them the very special places they are."

"Jane's leadership as the Centre Manager for CASE and STICERD has been inspiring, consistent, and steadfast for many years. She is the heart of the research centres and will be much missed."

We wish Jane the best for her retirement, with the promise to get together and celebrate appropriately her time at the centres once we return back to normal.

News Posted: 01 April 2020      [Back to the Top]

Update on the current situation

Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, our seminar series and events are postponed for the next term.

Please check our website and Twitter feed for further updates.

For further information please visit LSE's dedicated page on Coronavirus FAQs.

News Posted: 17 March 2020      [Back to the Top]

CASE Research into Refugees Informs Commons Debate

Recent LSE / Red Cross research into the support refugees receive after their application is accepted was referred to in a Westminster Hall debate by Thangham Debbonaire MP (Lab). She used the research by CASE's Dr Bert Provan to call for the move-on period to be extended from 28 to 56 days, arguing:
"The LSE and British Red Cross found that extending it to 56 days could save up to £7m of taxpayers' money each year. Of course, the consequences of destitution are extra costs to the public purse due to homelessness and impacts on health and employability. Home Office Minister Chris Philp MP committed to look at the case made in the Red Cross report and study those numbers."

Read the report here: Extending the "move-on" period for newly granted refugees: Analysis of impacts and costs
News Posted: 09 March 2020      [Back to the Top]

CASE Blog post
Commission for Equality in Mental Health Podcast with Professor Sir John Hills

Liz Sayce, Chair of the Commission for Equality in Mental Health discusses the state of inequality in the UK, the impact it can have on mental health, and potential solutions to these systemic issues with Professor Sir John Hills.

The podcast is available here.

News Posted: 09 March 2020      [Back to the Top]

LSE News
Sharp fall in wage inequality


Not only have low paid workers’ earnings increased with no evidence of a substantial loss of employment, inequality in pay has fallen.
- Dr Abigail McKnight

Wage inequality has fallen dramatically for the first time since at least the late 1990s, and most likely since the late 1970s, due to the introduction of the National Living Wage by the Conservative government in 2016, according to new LSE research.

The research, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, found that inequality in the bottom 50 per cent of earners fell by the same amount between 2015 and 2019 as it did in the 17-year period leading up to the introduction of the National Living Wage.

It also suggests potential adverse effects of employers reducing working hours to offset rising costs appear to have been avoided.

Abigail McKnight and Kerris Cooper of LSE's Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) found that the lowest paid ten per cent of employees in 2019 were paid up to 63% of the average wage, whereas 20 years earlier it was 55%.

Read the full LSE news item here.

The findings are from a forthcoming paper by Abigail McKnight and Kerris Cooper: ‘The Conservative’s Record on Employment: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2015-2020’. A brief report of the findings is available from

News Posted: 06 March 2020      [Back to the Top]

CASE Blog post
Britain in the Twenty-first Century – a more or less ''irresponsible society''?

John Hills reflects on Richard Titmuss's lecture on "The Irresponsible Society" in his latest blog post. He discusses five things the professor was peeved at and completes the list with six current areas.

You can read the blog post here.

News Posted: 24 February 2020      [Back to the Top]

CASE Blog post
Launch of policy toolkit: poverty and inequality reduction policies

Authored by Irene Bucelli, Abigail McKnight and Kate Summers, this online policy toolkit provides a systematic, wide-ranging and accessible assessment of a variety of policies with a potential 'double dividend': policies that could lead to reductions in both poverty and inequality.

The selection of policies has been informed by a larger research programme, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which has explored the relationship between inequalities and poverty. This research not only identified a positive empirical relationship between poverty and inequality it also reviewed evidence on potential mechanisms that might drive this relationship. To find out more about the statistical relationship and the mechanisms you can read the Overview Report, or download the working papers from the project page

The policy toolkit can be accessed online or a pdf of the toolkit can be accessed here.

Who is it for?
The toolkit has been designed to be a useful aid to anyone interested in policies which reduce poverty and inequality and in particular policies with the potential to have a ‘double dividend’. It has been created with a wide audience in mind, including practitioners, policy-makers, academics and students.

What will it tell me?
The toolkit presents policy options, not recommendations. It analyses policies in terms of their relationship to poverty and inequality, public and political support, type and level of intervention, evidence of effectiveness and cost to government.

How do I use it?
The policies presented in this toolkit are organised in relation to the mechanisms identified in this project as well as by policy area and type of intervention. In total seven mechanisms were identified: (1) Political economy and public awareness; (2) Resource constraints; (3) Spatial disparities; (4) Housing; (5) Life-cycle and intergenerational mechanisms; (6) Crime and the legal system; (7) Labour market mechanisms. Each section of the toolkit examines a selection of policies in relation to drivers within each mechanism. Overall assessments are presented in short summary tables which also provide access to the more detailed information behind each summary.


News Posted: 04 February 2020      [Back to the Top]

LSE IQ Podcast with Kerris Cooper on knife crime

Exploring the question, 'How do we stop knife crime?', Joanna Bale talks to Kerris Cooper among others, about knife crime, based on CASE SPDO research with Niki Lacey.

You can listen to the podcast here.

The report 'Physical safety and Security: Policies, spending and outcomes 2015-2020' is available to download.


News Posted: 17 January 2020      [Back to the Top]