Within a wide and rapidly evolving field of research, the interdisciplinary consortium AIPRIL seeks to advance inequality research on various fronts.
(1) We will develop new tools to measure inequality over long periods of time and in a multi-dimensional way. Scholars of inequality tend to focus on a single dimension of inequality, be it income, consumption or wealth. Yet, how these dimensions interrelate and how -if at all- they can be combined to look at socioeconomic inequality remains a particularly exciting field of research.
(2) Using our expertise in methods for quantifying the impact of redistributive policies, we will look at how taxes and benefits alter the distribution of dimensions, going beyond income. Wealth, for instance, is an important dimension of inequality for which redistributive modelling is still in its infancy.
(3) We will devote particular attention to specific cases of the Low Countries (BE, NL) that through their resilience to inequality enhancing pressures throw a different light on how institutions and policies shape patterns of (in)equality.
(4) In a world that rapidly continues to urbanize, we see reason to ask how different patterns of urbanization matter for socioeconomic inequality. Using cutting-edge methodologies, including satellite data linked with large-scale household panel data, we will investigate how urban growth interacts with socioeconomic inequality.
(5) We will closely examine how violent disruptions of the established order affect socioeconomic inequality and the way institutions intermediate or even prevent any such impact. This will be done by focusing on the importance of ‘shock resilience’ and the way societies with well-organized middle classes were historically able to ‘buffer’ for shocks.