Branko Milanovic gave the 2014 Summer Lecture

Branko Milanovic, Senior Scholar in the LIS Center and Visiting Presidential Professor at the CUNY Graduate Center, presented the 2014 LIS Summer Lecture: “Global Income Inequality: Current Trends, Issues of Justice and Politics.

The presentation touched on issues regarding between- and within- country inequality, as well as the political implications of current trends in income inequality.

Professor Milanovic is a leading scholar on income inequality who joined The Graduate Center and the LIS Center in 2014. He is the author of The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality and numerous articles on the global income distribution.

July 10, 2014 | News

New York Times launches new site, The Upshot, with study based on LIS data

All of us at LIS are delighted that the New York Times (NYT) chose to launch their exciting new venture — The Upshot — with an extensive report, Losing the Lead, based on the LIS data. The Upshot, led by Pulitzer Prize winning economics journalist David Leonhardt, premiered today. The NYT report includes additional information about the data and a note on the process that led them to LIS.

At the request of the NYT, a team at LIS — Janet Gornick, Thierry Kruten, and Branko Milanovic — produced entirely new results, drawing on 164 LIS datasets from 23 countries, covering the period 1979 to 2010. The NYT-LIS study deals with the distribution and growth of household income across countries.

The detailed results underlying the NYT report are available in a new database, known as the “LIS/New York Times Income Distribution Database.” This database is for public use; if used it should be cited by its full name. All results are based on the standard LIS variable, disposable household income (DHI), which includes income from wages, self-employment, and capital, plus social transfers, minus direct taxes paid. Our team produced the results in three formats (per capita, per equivalent unit, per household) and in two different currency measures (national currencies and 2005 international dollars).  As explained in their report, the NYT converted the 2005 international dollars to 2014 international dollars, using the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

The file contains five sheets:
1 definitions
2 income at different percentiles of the distribution, in national currencies
3 mean income by decile, in national currencies
4 income at different percentiles of the distribution, in 2005 international dollars
5 mean income by decile, in 2005 international dollars

April 22, 2014 | Highlight

[UPDATE] Video: Capital in the Twenty-First Century

16 April 2014

The French economist Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics) will present a lecture on his new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In this landmark work, Piketty argues that the main driver of inequality—the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth—threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values. He calls for political action and policy intervention. Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University), Paul Krugman (Princeton University), and Steven Durlauf (University of Wisconsin–Madison) will comment. The event will be introduced and moderated by Janet Gornick and Branko Milanovic (Graduate Center, Luxembourg Income Study Center).

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

April 11, 2014 | News

Review of Income and Wealth, Co-Edited by Markus Jäntti

The most recent issue of the Review of Income and Wealth is a special issue focusing on poverty, development, and behavioural economics. This issue was guest edited by Ravi Kanbur (Cornell University), Jukka Pirttilä (University of Tampere), and LIS Research Director, Markus Jäntti. The issue features the published version of “Income Inequality, Redistribution and Poverty: Contrasting Rational Choice and Behavioural Perspectives” by Malte Luebker, for which he received the 2013 Aldi Hagenaars Memorial Award. Other topics covered in the edition include behavioral design, savings, social networks, contracts, cooperation, and inequality and poverty.

March 27, 2014 | News

Paul Krugman to Join LIS Team

Dear LIS Colleagues and Friends,

It is with distinct pleasure that I am sharing exciting news from the LIS Center, our satellite office at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Noted American economist Paul Krugman, 2008 winner of the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, and a keynote speaker at the 2010 LIS Conference on Inequality and the Middle Class, will be taking up a position as Distinguished Scholar in the LIS Center, effective July 2014.

In August 2015, Professor Krugman will leave his current post as professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and will join the faculty of the PhD Program in Economics at the Graduate Center. He will be nominated for the position of distinguished professor, CUNY’s highest honor.

Professor Krugman will be based in New York City and will continue both his biweekly opinion column in the New York Times, and his uncommonly popular New York Times-based blog, “The Conscience of a Liberal.” He announced his decision in a blog post today

Paul Krugman’s appointment to the LIS Center underscores LIS’ and the Graduate Center’s engagement in the growing international public conversation about socio-economic inequality. Tony Atkinson applauded the news and invited me to share his excitement with you: “As President of LIS, I greatly welcome Paul Krugman’s attachment with the work of the LIS Center.” LIS founding director Timothy Smeeding was similarly pleased. “I know that Paul will make good use of the LIS data as he studies and writes about real world problems.”

Paul Krugman will join LIS’ growing roster of senior scholars, which now includes Professors Louis Chauvel and Conchita D’Ambrosio, at the University of Luxembourg, and Professor Branko Milanovic, based at the LIS Center in New York City. All of us at LIS are delighted to welcome him to the LIS team!

Janet Gornick


February 28, 2014 | News

LIS Seeks Associate Director

Associate Director, LIS

LIS, the cross-national data center in Luxembourg (formerly known as the Luxembourg Income Study), seeks applications for an Associate Director.

The LIS Associate Director will collaborate with the LIS Director on a range of activities:

  • establish LIS’ objectives/goals on ongoing basis
  • lead and manage the organization
  • oversee LIS’ senior onsite staff as they carry out core activities and responsibilities
  • direct LIS’ research, teaching, and training activities
  • raise and maintain funding
  • build relations with LIS’ partners and sponsors in Luxembourg and internationally.

Candidates should have a strong record of research and scholarship, ideally related to income distribution, labor markets, demography, or related areas. Fluency in English is required.

The Associate Director is expected to spend at least 4 weeks/year in Luxembourg. The position is part-time, and a modest annual stipend is provided.

Send a letter of interest, CV, and names/contact information for three references to Professor Tony Atkinson, Chair of Search Committee, at The letter of interest should describe the applicant’s experience in scholarship/research (including experience with LIS); data production/infrastructure; and administration, management, and fundraising.

Priority will be given to applications received by 31 March 2014, although applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. Position start date is 1 January 2015.

February 13, 2014 | News

2014 LIS Introductory Summer Workshop

The next LIS Introductory Summer Workshop will be held 29 June – 5 July 2014, at the University of Luxembourg campus.

The winner of the 2014 Aldi Hagenaars Award will be invited to present his or her paper.

Our annual Summer Lecture will also be taking place that week.

2014 Workshop Application – deadline is 1 April 2014

Participants are responsible for their own tuition and transportation to and from Luxembourg. The €1,500 tuition covers instructional materials, single-occupancy accommodations, and full board.

January 31, 2014 | News

Conversation on inequality with LIS Director Janet Gornick and World Bank economist Branko Milanovic, moderated by CUNY Interim Chancellor William Kelly

LIS Director Janet Gornick and World Bank economist Branko Milanovic participated in a discussion on income inequality with William Kelly, the Interim Chancellor of CUNY. The event took place at the Roosevelt Center at Hunter College (CUNY).

December 4, 2013 | News

Watch Video From Income Inequality Book Launch, Moderated by Branko Milanovic

Watch the video of the panel and discussion from the November 4th book launch. The discussion and Q&A ran about one and a half hours.

Editors Janet Gornick and Markus Jäntti present  Income Inequality: Economic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries with contributing authors.

Moderated by Branko Milanovic, expert on global income inequality.

November 4, 2013 | News

The LIS Center in New York welcomes Hicham Ait Mansour.

LIS is pleased to welcome the arrival of Hicham Ait Mansour, a Fulbright Scholar. Hicham is a Sociology PhD Candidate at Mohamed V University in Rabat, Morocco. During his time with LIS, Hicham will be working on his PhD dissertation on child poverty in Morocco; his study uses a multidimensional approach. In partnership with the LIS Center and the UNICEF Policy and Strategy Division, Hicham will also be contributing to a research project on measuring child poverty in middle-income countries.

October 23, 2013 | News