The  AIPRIL Doctoral Training Series on Inequality Research is dedicated to advancing the understanding of inequality issues across various disciplines and is a joint venture of CSB, CSG and IOB.

Through seminars, led by our own as well as external experts, we will learn innovative approaches and methods to studying inequality as well as broader perspectives on the inequality question that can inform our doctoral research.

Upcoming Doctoral Training

27 November 2023: Prof. Oscar Gelderblom - "How to study the financial behavior of households? A hands-on experience"

Has it ever happened to you that you found wonderful data which seemed to be speaking to a very important question? Only to find out that, once you studied it more closely, the data did not really answer your question. A wonderful paper in the making is suddenly no more that interesting, but ultimately a useless idea. But is it really? What if you did not try to make the facts fit the theory but rather went about finding more facts, better data, that would allow you to answer the questions you really care about.

This ‘hands on’ tutorial offers an example of just such an attempt to rescue a good research idea by looking very hard for the appropriate sources. The topic of the investigation is historical household finance, or more particularly, the question why banks play such an important role in the financial lives of ordinary households – in western countries but also beyond that?

We take a brief look at the various types of sources social scientists and historians might use to answer this question before we turn to the actual historical sources. In this interactive, hands-on workshop we explore the strengths and weaknesses of these sources to determine which ones we should use to answer our central research question. 

Past Doctoral Training

Prof. Moisés Kopper – “The Sociotechnical Affordances of Information: An Ethnographic Framework for the Study of Inequality?”


What does the technopolitical history of Brazil’s “new middle class” teach us about the trajectory of socioeconomic inequality and the strategic deployment of information in constructing images of national futurity? How does the production of data from below by marginalized communities in Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Tanzania, and Kenya refashion the means and meanings of inequality? In this AIPRIL seminar, I use these questions as springboards to reflect on my ethnographic work on and around socioeconomic inequality in and beyond Brazil. I explore a range of topics —from public housing implementation to middle-class measurements to new citizenship practices around datafication—and their productive and often invisible links to inequality. Critically, I probe ways in which ethnography can serve as a building block for alternative theoretical frameworks that consider grassroots understandings of—and solutions to—inequalities at multiple scales.


11 September 2023 – 13.00-15.00h

    • 13:00-14:00h:  Prof. Moisés Kopper’s research on socioeconomic inequality.
    • 14:00-15:00h: Doctoral training for PhD students and researchers: methodological seminar on the production of data ‘from below’.

Rewatch Prof. Kopper's seminar

Prof. Koen Decancq - "Misfortune does not come alone: Concept and measurement of cumulative deprivation"

In this presentation, I discus the recent literature on the identification and aggregation of cumulative deprivation. Individuals who occupy a low position on all well-being dimensions at the same time, are said to suffer from cumulative deprivation. For these individuals, disadvantages in one dimension are further reinforced by disadvantages in other dimensions. I discus how individuals who suffer from cumulative deprivation can be identified in a multidimensional data set and how aggregate measures of cumulative deprivation can be derived from the so-called cumulative deprivation curve. The core concepts are illustrated using the Belgian MEQIN data set, which has been collected in 2016.