Call for proposals: “Inequality trends around the Mediterranean”

LIS and the ERF are pleased to announce a call for proposals on “Inequality trends around the Mediterranean.” Selected authors will present their papers during ERF-LIS first conference by November 2019. Interested researchers are invited to submit their proposals by 22 April 2019.

The rising trends of inequality are hitting developed and developing countries in different ways. Both tails of the income distribution look different: high income countries have seen enlarging top income shares often combined with declining real incomes for the bottom deciles; middle and low income countries record a more limited expansion of top incomes, while the income decline in the bottom tail is partially concealed by the existence of a large informal sector. In order to explore these issues, the Mediterranean area constitutes an interesting case, because European countries overlooking the Northern side experienced a pronounced increase in inequality in the last decades, while MENA countries showing on the Southern side faced diverging trends in inequality, often associated to political instability. At the same time, the entire area has been theatre of a massive inflow of immigrants, for either economic or political reasons. Studying inequality (in either incomes, consumption or wealth) becomes crucial for understanding underlying tensions created by economic incentives and development perspectives.

To exploit the richness of harmonized data offered by the ERF covering the MENA region countries and LIS covering most of the developed countries in addition to parts of the developing world, the two institutions have joined forces to offer access to the largest database available, containing harmonised microdata, mainly on income and expenditure/consumption, to enable researchers to easily conduct socio-economic analysis of various dimensions of inequality (income, consumption, education, employment, possession of durables, …) using all datasets available from both of the institutions.

The selected authors of the best proposals will get access to all datasets for the following countries (please see Annex 1), which are harmonised according to a common template, the following variables (please see Annex 2) will be made available through the remote access system “LISSY”. The papers will be presented in a conference to be held in Cairo in November 2019 and they will be published in ERF and LIS Working Papers series.


Interested researchers can submit an abstract of no more than 1000 words presenting their intended research project. The project should mainly fall under the umbrella of studying inequality around the two sides of the Mediterranean, making use of the data from both institutions. However, researchers who would like to extend their research beyond the Mediterranean are also welcomed.


  • Researchers should have expertise in the topic being researched.
  • Researchers from disciplines other than economics may apply.


A refereeing committee will evaluate all proposals by the following criteria:

  • The value added from the project in terms of contributing to existing knowledge,
  • The methodological soundness, be it econometric or in-depth case studies,
  • The policy relevance of the findings.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the proposal should NOT include the authors’ names, as it will undergo a blind review process.

  1. Statement of the research problem: A clear and concise description of the nature and importance of the proposed research; its scope and boundaries; its general context; and objectives with explicit reference to feasibility and policy relevance.
  2. Value Added: A selective and analytical review of the relevant literature, intending to both demonstrating knowledge of past theoretical and empirical work, as well as identifying the knowledge gap that the proposed research is intended to address.
  3. Conceptual Framework and Research Methodology: A clear statement of the conceptual framework should be provided elaborating on the set of specific, identifiable and concrete questions for which the proposed research is intended to provide answers. This is to be followed by an elaboration of the research methods to be employed and why they are best suited to answer the research questions. The section should also indicate the nature of the information required and the data collection techniques, whether primary or secondary or a combination of the two. Finally, it should explain how the information will be analyzed and interpreted using quantitative and/or qualitative methods.
  4. References: A list should be attached to the proposal specifying the suggested references to be used in writing the proposed paper.

To submit your proposal, please fill in the following form

  • Author(s)’ CV(s)
  • Two published papers, and
  • Proposal as per the above mentioned guidelines.


      • Submission of proposals deadline : April 22nd 2019
      • Announcement of winning proposals : by May 16th, 20
      • Submission of draft papers : July 15th, 2019
      • Submission of revised draft papers : September 30th, 2019
      • Conference : November 2019
      • Submission of final drafts for publication: December 2019
        • For further inquiries, please contact Ms. Ramage Nada, Program Officer: contact

          For technical inquiries, please contact Ms. Heba Omar, Data Expert and Research associate: contact

          March 21, 2019 | News