Month: February 2011

  • From squeeze to crash: the role of living standards in the financial crisis

    While almost no-one predicted the financial crisis of 2007, there’s been no shortage of people rushing to explain it with the benefit of hindsight. Amid all the competing explanations, one caught my eye: the idea that rising US income inequality somehow caused the financial crisis. But while this conveniently slots into the ‘inequality-is-bad-for-everything’ narrative, is […]

  • Paying Kids to Be Better Students

    School is often boring, and even the best students are difficult to motivate from time to time. In America’s inner city schools – the kinds of places with metal detectors at the doors and drug dealers lurking on the corners – it has proven especially challenging to engage kids and to create a culture where […]

  • A theory of everything? Part two.

    On 6th May, the British Sociological Association and the Open University are hosting a postgraduate conference on inequality; abstracts will be accepted up until the 28th February. The main theme of the conference is on whether we need on overarching ‘theory of inequality’ – I gave the first half of my ideas last week, and […]

  • What Does the Public Think Unions Stand For? The Battle for Hearts and Minds in Wisconsin

    Are public sector labor unions greedy leeches on the side of government, or are they the last bulwark of a national movement for working people? The battle to define American public sector labor unions, and the labor movement in general, reached a new urgency this week in Wisconsin (our embedded correspondent Paul sends this dispatch […]

  • The Wisconsin Protests

    As the lone Wisconsin-based contributor to Inequalities, I have been remiss in not writing about the ongoing protests here in Madison. Here is what’s going on.

  • Place, Race, Gender, and Wellbeing

    In Ben’s interesting post from Thursday he mentions a project underway by some of his LSE colleagues to apply Amartya Sen’s capabilities framework to inequality in Britain. Here in the United States the Social Science Research Council has undertaken the “American Human Development Project,” adopting the United Nation’s Human Development Index (which is itself inspired […]

  • A theory of everything?

    On 6th May, the British Sociological Association and the Open University are hosting a postgraduate conference on inequality.  If you’re a UK-based postgrad inequalities researcher then you should come; abstracts will be accepted for a little while longer until the 28th Feb. I’m hoping to attend, and this post has my (very) first thoughts on […]

  • Global inequality in 3 charts

    Intellectual pin-ups are a bad idea. I’ve lost track of the number of razor-sharp thinkers whose opinions turn to mush when they’re surrounded by worshipful students and flattering policymakers, keen to brush themselves with their hero’s stardust. So it’s with a heavy heart that I say that Branko Milanovic is becoming a hero of mine… […]

  • Your Sneakers Make Me Sick

    We all know that status and consumption go together like lobster and champagne. The high status people get the finer things in life, and the highest status people get the finest things of all. In pre-modern societies the relationship between status and consumption was made explicit through the enactment of sumptuary laws – rules about […]

  • What is Health Equity?

    I had planned to use my posting privileges here to write a series of posts on the idea of health equity, which would then form the basis of a public talk I have to give. Unfortunately, the date for the talk has come and gone without one post on the topic. For those who are […]