What are the causes and consequences of inequality?

SEO has a research line focusing on assessing inequality across a wide range of socio-economic domains. This could include regional inequality in educational opportunities, gender inequality in the labour market, or inequality regarding access to finance or access to social services.

Inequality of opportunity often starts early in life, when children grow up in different circumstances and environments. Further inequalities may arise throughout their lives at home, in education, or at work. Public policies could either reduce or further exacerbate these inequalities.

SEO combines its in-depth expertise in the area of inequality with the capacity to identify patterns in large datasets and establish causal linkages between the determinants and effects of inequality. Our analyses of inequality often play a significant role in our policy evaluations as well as our evaluations of development cooperation programmes. We also estimate the GDP effects of gender equality and we annually monitor gender diversity in the public sector.

Our research is empirical, which means that we use (sometimes very large) datasets to identify patterns and causes and consequences. We also estimate the extent of inequality and the effects of instruments and policy measures to combat inequality. We report this information to our clients in an understandable manner, for example, in the form of factsheets, slide decks, reports, or an ‘opportunity atlas.’