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Understanding Inequalities: new thinking for public policy

When May 25, 2016
from 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM
Where Trinity Hall Lecture Theatre
Contact Name
Contact Phone 01223334572
Attendees Contact SRI Coordinator Dr Charlotte Sausman if you are interested in attending or presenting.
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We are witnessing increasing divisions in society whereby health gains for some are not shared by others; where social mobility is falling; and where the pay gap between ordinary workers and corporate leaders has grown exponentially. Inequality is now a mainstream political issue. What does current research bring to our understanding of how inequality shapes our economy and society? What do the public think about inequality? Can research provide evidence of interventions to reduce inequalities?


This one-day seminar provides an opportunity for cross-disciplinary conversations about research and policy interventions on inequality. We will learn about the different types of inequality and explore measures to guide policy makers from current academic research as well as explore connections between different approaches, methods and measures of inequality with a view to building future collaborations.

Public Policy Strategic Research Initiative Seminar


Understanding Inequalities:

new thinking for public policy

Programme at a Glance


9-9.30              Registration and welcome


9.30-11.00      Session 1 PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO INEQUALITY

New Polling on Public Attitudes to Inequality

Laurence Janta-Lipinski, Associate Director, YouGov

The Politics of Inequality [panel discussion including David Runciman, Politics and Jon Lawrence, History]



‘Inequality, what’s new?’


11.00-11.30     Break


11.30-1.00       Session 2 LEGACIES OF INEQUALITY

Colonial-modern legacies of development and public policy

Sarah Radcliffe, Department of Geography

Corporate governance, shareholder value and worker rights

Simon Deakin, Centre for Business Research

A focus on children in care

Lucy Delap, Faculty of History


1.00-2.00         Lunch – Poster Displays


2.00-3.30      Session 3 HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

Social spending and health outcomes

Alex Sutherland and colleagues, RAND Europe

Do inequities in neighbourhood food environments contribute to inequalities in diet and health?

Pablo Monsivais, Centre for Diet and Activity Research 

A sociological and historical perspective on health inequalities: implications for current policy debates

Mike Kelly, Institute of Public Health and Simon Szreter, Faculty of History


3.30-4.00         Break


4.00-5.30         Session 4 EDUCATION AND WORK

Measuring inequalities in learning across and within countries in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals: lessons for policy

Pauline Rose, Ben Alcott, Sonia Ilie, Ricardo Sabates, Research for Equitable Access and Learning Centre

Youth precarity and inequitable transitions

Geoff Hayward, Faculty of Education

Inequalities in well-being and economic policy:

Potential for development through education and employment

Kai Ruggeri, Department of Psychology


5.30                 Close and Drinks




Organising committee: Dr Pedro Ramos Pinto, Dr Adam Coutts, Dr Charlotte Sausman


Advisory committee: Professor Theresa Marteau, Professor David Howarth, Professor Simon Deakin, Professor Simon Szreter

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About Us

We aim to support public policy research across Cambridge University, working with colleagues in science, social science, the arts and humanities, to apply new thinking to public policy problems and promote research and analysis into the public policy process. We hope to connect and raise the profile of existing public policy related work across the University and support collaborative research that includes policy development in a range of subject areas. 

Contact us if you are interested in joining the initiative or would like to know more.