Inequality Workshop completed

The LIS Center at the CUNY Graduate Center hosted a one-week workshop on socio-economic inequalities. On Monday through Friday (June 1-5, 2015), the 50 participants, mostly PhD students and faculty from several NYC-based universities, attended lectures presented by 15 experts on inequality. The lecturers’ bios, and their assigned readings, are on the workshop website; the PPTs will be added later in June. On Saturday (June 6), 35 of the participants completed a one-day mini-workshop on how to use the LIS microdata.

Several of the workshop participants covered the events via social media, including live-tweets.

Stay tuned for announcements about next year’s workshop!

The “Inequality by the numbers” workshop was co-sponsored by The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative, and the CUNY Graduate Center’s Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC).

June 8, 2015 | News

Solow and Krugman discuss Tony Atkinson’s new book

On May 1, 2015, two Nobel Laureates, Robert Solow, Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Paul Krugman, Distinguished Professor of Economics at The Graduate Center as of Fall 2015, discussed Anthony B. Atkinson’s new book, “Inequality: What Can Be Done?”.

LIS Director Janet Gornick moderated the conversation.

Tony Atkinson has served as LIS’ advisor for over thirty years, and now serves as LIS’ Board President.

Watch the final cut of the video here:

May 24, 2015 | News

Stiglitz and Stern discussed inequality and climate change

Stern/StiglitzOn Earth Day, 22 April, Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern, two leading experts on economics and the environment, talked about the interactions of inequality and climate change.

Stiglitz, a University Professor at Columbia, and Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics, argued that our changing planet may be the ultimate social issue, considering how outcomes from a changing climate are hardest on communities that can least afford it. Stiglitz and Stern called for political action and policy intervention to address inequality and to focus energies on building global societal resilience.

LIS Director Janet Gornick introduced the conversation while Deborah Balk and Eduardo Porter co-moderated. The event was held at the Proshansky Auditorium of The Graduate Center in New York, and was co-sponsored by the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Graduate Center, and the Luxembourg Income Study Center.

A full video of the discussion can now be found on YouTube:

Further readings:

Joseph Stiglitz’s new book The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them was published in April 2015.

The launch of Nicholas Stern’s upcoming book Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change is scheduled for May 2015.

May 4, 2015 | News

[Update] Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern in Conversation


On April 22, Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern, two of the world’s leading experts on economics and the environment, join in conversation about the interaction of climate change and inequality.

Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia, and won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001. His book The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them will be published in April 2015.

Stern is a professor at the London School of Economics, and president of the British Academy. The launch of Stern’s book Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency and Promise of Tackling Climate Change is also scheduled for April 2015.

LIS Director Janet Gornick will introduce the conversation while Deborah Balk and Eduardo Porter will co-moderate. The event will be held at the Proshansky Auditorium of The Graduate Center in New York, 7-8.30 pm. While admission to the event is free, the venue is currently at full capacity. It will however be possible to follow the conversation via live-stream.

“Inequality and Climate Change” is co-sponsored by the Advanced Research Collaborative, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Graduate Center, and the Luxembourg Income Study Center.

Get a preview of the upcoming conversation here:

Stay tuned for more updates in the following weeks!

April 3, 2015 | News

InGRID newsletter presents LIS

InGRID, the Inclusive Growth Research Infrastructure Diffusion project, presents LIS in the 4th issue of its bi-annual newsletter.

A key activity of InGRID is providing transnational access to research infrastructures with data and expertise within the fields of poverty and living conditions, social policy analysis, and statistical quality management.

The project involves 17 European partners, and allows LIS to welcome a total of 18 Visiting Scholars. Four researchers have already been awarded a visiting grant. Potential applicants can get more information on the LIS website.

The project’s leaflet can be downloaded here.
Additional queries may be addressed to

Past Recipients of the Visiting grants

Visitor Project
Mariacristina Rossi Household and mortgage choices: a gender perspective
Vladimir Hlasny Top Income Biases and the Measurement of Inequality: A Worldwide Study
Bahram Salavati Sarcheshmeh Institutional Factors Effects on Economic Integration of Highly Skilled Migrant Workers into Host Countries’ Labour Market;a Comparative Analysis of Selected OECD Countries.
Sean de Hoon The male marriage wage premium from a cross-national comparative perspective

March 20, 2015 | News

We mourn the loss of our colleague, supporter, and friend, Germain Dondelinger.

At LIS, we mourn the death of Germain Dondelinger, who passed away on 15 March 2015.

For a decade, Germain oversaw the Ministry of Higher Education and Research’s support for LIS. During those years, our many meetings with him were always a singular pleasure. Without fail, he offered wise advice, spoke with us frankly, and delighted in our accomplishments. We will always remember, with fondness, his keen sense of humor and ready smile.

We offer our condolences to his family and friends, and to his many colleagues throughout Luxembourg.

March 19, 2015 | News

LIS in 2014 & what’s next in 2015

We have had a busy year behind us with many events and achievements.

In a nutshell:
28 Working Papers
63 uploaded and released datasets
1200 new user registrations

2014 January Branko Milanovic left his position as lead economist at the World Bank to take the dual positions of Visiting Presidential Professor and Senior Scholar at the LIS Center, New York.
Book launch of Income Inequality: Economic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries in Luxembourg.
Ceremony in Luxembourg: LIS Director Janet Gornick bestowed the honor of “LIS Senior Scholar” on Professors Louis Chauvel and Conchita d’Ambrosio of the University of Luxembourg.
February Paul Krugman announced he would resign from Princeton in 2015 to become Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of CUNY, as of fall 2015, and a Distinguished Scholar in the LIS Center as of summer 2014.
March Review of Income and Wealth, co-edited by Markus Jäntti.
Janet Gornick spoke about LIS at the Third Human Development Report Office Conference on Measuring Human Progress, at UNDP in New York City.
April The LIS Center hosted Thomas Piketty for a sold-out event on his book tour for Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
The New York Times launched a new data-driven site, The Upshot, with a story based on LIS data. The Upshot’s first article struck a chord among Americans, and made it to the 6 top Upshot stories in 2014.
Release of the “LIS/New York Times Income Distribution Database”.
May Janet Gornick gave a seminar about LIS at the Oxford Martin School.
June Signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between LIS and the University of Luxembourg.
July Branko Milanovic presented the 2014 LIS Summer Lecture: “Global Income Inequality: Current Trends, Issues of Justice and Politics.”
Bestowal of the Aldi Award to Stephan Thewissen who accepted the award on behalf of his co-authors for their excellent paper “Sectoral trends in earnings inequality and employment International trade, skill-biased technological change, or labour market institutions?”
September Janet Gornick presented LIS at a meeting of the United Nations’ “Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development” in New York City.
October Janet Gornick delivered a keynote address to the United Nations General Assembly titled “High and Rising Inequality: Causes and Consequences”.
November Launch of Wave IX with the release of the United States dataset 2013.
December Kickoff of a new project to re-design the LIS homepage.

What’s in store for LIS in 2015?

*spoiler alert*

2015 January Janet Gornick gives a lecture titled “High and Rising Inequality: Causes and Consequences” at the Cercle Münster in Luxembourg.
March Janet Gornick attends the 46th session of the UN Statistical Commission under the slogan “better data, better lives”.
April Special event at the LIS Center in NYC focused on climate change and inequality, featuring Joseph Stiglitz in conversation with Lord Nicholas Stern.
Summer In June 2015, the LIS Center – with support from the Graduate Center and The Century Foundation – will offer a six-day academic workshop on inequality in New York. The teaching staff will include Professors Janet Gornick, Branko Milanovic, Conchita D’Ambrosio, and Louis Chauvel.
The sixth LIS Summer Lecture will be held in conjunction with the ECINEQ conference, which will take place in Luxembourg 13-15 July 2015. The 2015 lecturer will be LSE Professor Stephen Jenkins, a renowned expert on poverty and inequality in affluent countries.
The LIS office in Luxembourg will move premises – from our current location in Cents to the new complex in Belval. Due to the timing of the move, LIS will not hold its annual LIS Summer Workshop in 2015. We look forward to resuming the workshop in 2016.
LIS will launch a modernized, expanded Web Tabulator. The upgraded tool includes results based on the entire LIS Database (i.e., all countries, all years); it has entirely new content, which was designed to increase both user-friendliness and comparability across datasets.
Release of the much-anticipated METadata Information System (METIS). This new feature was created with a generous grant from the US National Science Foundation.

Stay tuned for more!

March 9, 2015 | News

LIS Director Janet Gornick attends 46th session of UN Statistical Commission

Janet Gornick participated in the 46th Session of the UN Statistical Commission under the slogan “better data, better lives”, which kicked off Tuesday 3 March in the UN headquarters in New York.

The Commission brought together the Chief Statisticians from member states, and their senior teams, as well as many representatives of NGO’s from around the world. The Luxembourg delegation was formed by Serge Allegrezza, Maite van der Vekene, and Janet Gornick.

Janet Gornick held several meetings with representatives of national and international organisations to discuss means of enhancing cooperation, and exchange of experiences in data acquisition and harmonization practices.

The promotional video of the 2015 session “better data, better lives” can be viewed here:

March 6, 2015 | News

LIS Senior Scholar Louis Chauvel in the New York Times on inequality between generations in France

Professor Louis Chauvel spoke with the New York Times about intergenerational economic gaps in France, a topic he has been exploring these last years on a global scale (see his latest LIS Working Paper).

Unemployment in France has been rising since 2008 and has hovered around 10 percent for the last two years. “We have more and more educated young French citizens, and they face economic scarcity, even though they have more education than their parents,” he said. “Young adults in France see their taxes going to finance social benefits for retirees that they believe they will never receive.”

Chauvel and Schröder, co-author of the LIS Working paper n° 628, were also quoted several times in the French media, where the song, “Toute La Vie” (“All Life Long”), initially written to raise money for Les Restaurants du Coeur, set off a storming debate.

“It does not seem unreasonable to assume that the “young” (in 2014, this comprises everyone below age 64) will not accept the stagnation of their disposable incomes indefinitely.” (p. 14, sic.)

March 5, 2015 | News

Upcoming modernized, expanded Web Tabulator

Launch date: 15 May 2015

LIS is taking another exciting step by releasing a brand new version of our Web Tabulator, our online table-making tool, on May 15. Anyone who wants to generate cross-national descriptive tables based on the underlying LIS datasets, without preparing programming, will be able to do so.

What is important about the new Web Tabulator?

– It includes results based on the entire LIS Database (i.e., all countries, all years).
– It has entirely new content, which was designed to increase both user-friendliness and comparability across datasets.
– It includes, for the first time, individual- as well as household-level indicators.
– Its content now corresponds to the latest LIS Database template.
– Like the LIS Inequality and Poverty Key Figures, the revised Web Tabulator will be automatically filled with new results each time that LIS uploads a new microdataset.

Time to say goodbye to the old version of the Web Tabulator!

Starting today, we are shutting down the old version of the Web Tabulator. We encourage you to get a sneak peek at our documentation to find out the number of indicators, countries and variables that will be available from May 15 on.

Stay tuned for more!

February 17, 2015 | News