Issue, No.28 (December 2023)

Conference: Income and Wealth Inequality: Drivers and Consequences

by Piotr Paradowski, (LIS & Gdańsk University of Technology)

On September 27-29, 2023, LIS and the Faculty of Management and Economics at the Gdańsk University of Technology (Gdańsk Tech) held the international conference titled “Income and Wealth Inequality: Drivers and Consequences” at the Gdańsk University of Technology. During the three days of the meeting, scholars presented the latest research achievements in income and wealth inequality from theoretical, empirical, and comparative perspectives, as well as the role of public policy and technological progress in the evolution of disparities and the understanding of the economic and social consequences of rising inequalities. The conference was accompanied by the attendance of almost the entire LIS team and LIS Director Peter Lanjouw.

The presentations of the latest scientific research were complemented by the extraordinary atmosphere of the Gdańsk Tech campus. Over 50 scientists worldwide (including speakers from 4 continents) presented their research findings. Keynote speakers who delivered lectures included:

  • Susan Harkness (University of Bristol), the inaugural speech on “Gender Equality: Why it Matters to Income Inequality”;
  • Daniele Checchi (University of Milan), on “Hours Inequality”;
  • James E. Foster (The George Washington University & OPHI, University of Oxford), on “Multidimensional and Specific Inequalities”;
  • Branko Milanovic (Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality, City University of New York), on “Two Centuries of Global Inequality with a Focus on the Past 30 Years”;
  • Philippe Van Kerm (University of Luxembourg & Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research), on “The long-run Trends in Assortative Mating and its Contribution to Income Inequality in the US”.

On the first day of the conference, young researchers participated in various workshop lectures on the topic “Software and Techniques for Inequality Measurements and Analysis,” where they learned about datasets on income and wealth available in LIS and LWS Databases and the empirical approach to explaining inequalities using R and Python. One important element of the lectures was the introduction to Machine Learning methods used in inequality analysis and many other areas of social and exact sciences. The workshop was led by Pedro Salas-Rojo (London School of Economics and Political Science, International Inequalities Institute), Josep Espasa Reig (OECD, formerly LIS), and Piotr Paradowski (LIS & Gdańsk University of Technology).

The conference was inaugurated by the Rector of the Gdansk University of Technology, Krzysztof Wilde, the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Management and Economics, Magdalena Olczyk, and the Director of LIS, Peter Lanjouw.. As part of the conference, there was also a debate titled “The Bridge Between Research and Economic Policy,” in which not only eminent scientists dealing with inequalities but also decision-makers participated. Guests included Daniele Checchi (University of Milan), Michael Förster (Sciences Po Paris), Susan Harkness (University of Bristol), Stanisław Maciej Kot (Gdańsk University of Technology), Dariusz Rosati (Member of the Polish Parliament), and Joanna Tyrowicz (University of Warsaw and Monetary Policy Council). The debate addressed issues related to the causes and effects of income and wealth inequalities, specifically in relation to public policy.

Two excellent research papers presented at the conference won the conference Awards dedicated to young scientists who completed their doctorate after 2016 or are still pursuing doctoral studies. The Best Paper Award was granted to Benjamin Tippet (University of Greenwich) for his work “Finding Fortunes: A New Methodology to Estimate Missing Wealth in Survey Data.” The Best Poster Award was received by a doctoral student from the University of Warsaw, Ivan Skliarov, for his scientific work titled “Does Reckless Risk or Careful Planning Make Households Wealthy? A study of the US based on the Luxembourg Wealth Study database.” The conference’s scientific presentations are available on the LIS website:

The event was organized under the patronage of LIS, the Rector of the Gdańsk University of Technology, Krzysztof Wilde, the Dean of the Faculty of Management and Economics Małgorzata Gawrycka, the Fahrenheit Union of Universities, the Polish Economic Society, and the Central Statistical Office of Poland. The conference was co-financed by the IDUB Carbonium Supporting Conferences program from Gdańsk Tech, with financial support from the Faculty of Management and Economics and LIS.

The conference’s organizing committee, a joined force of LIS and Gdańsk Tech, included researchers and doctoral students from the Department of Statistics and Econometrics, the Department of Economics, the Department of Philosophy and Methodology of Sciences, and the Department of Finance: Piotr Paradowski (chairman), Magdalena Brygała, Yuxin Lu, Dagmara Nikulin, Joanna Wolszczak-Derlacz, Stanisław Maciej Kot, Andrzej Karalus, Karol Flisikowski, and Michał Pietrzak. The organizers thank the entire LIS team, specifically Heba Omar (Assistant Director of Operations at LIS) and Taylor Kroezen (Data Expert at LIS) for their incredible support, and the staff of the administrative units of the faculty and university for their cooperation, in particular the Promotion and Organization Office of the Faculty of Management and Economics, the Logistics Office of Gdańsk Tech, the Multimedia Section of Gdańsk Tech, and all those who contributed to the organization of this conference.