Upcoming Activities

Date Events
ESRI Seminar: “The end of free higher education in England: Implications for quality, enrolments, and equity”

Despite increasing financial pressures on higher education systems throughout the world, many governments remain resolutely opposed to the introduction of tuition fees, and some countries and states where tuition fees have been long established are now reconsidering free higher education. Gill Wyness will present a paper she co-authored with Richard Murphy and Judith-Scott-Clayton, which examines the consequences of charging tuition fees on university quality, enrolments, and equity. To do so, they study the English higher education system which has, in just two decades, moved from a free college system to one in which tuition fees are among the highest in the world. Their findings suggest that England’s shift has resulted in increased funding per head, rising enrolments, and a narrowing of the participation gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. In contrast to other systems with high tuition fees, the English system is distinct in that its income-contingent loan system keeps university free at the point of entry, and provides students with comparatively generous assistance for living expenses. They conclude that tuition fees, at least in the English case supported their goals of increasing quality, quantity, and equity in higher education.

Speaker Bio:

Dr Gill Wyness is a lecturer in Economics at the University College London Institute of Education where her main interest is in quantitative research on higher education. Gill is currently running an ESRC-funded project examining the impact of university bursaries on drop-out and degree performance, using data collected from 25 UK universities.

Dublin, Ireland

Past Activities

Date Events
Inequality and Luxembourg – Lecture series : Inequality and… ?

This lecture analyzes inequality in one of the wealthiest countries worldwide. Traditionally, Luxembourg has been a relatively equal society but new economic developments are changing this. What does the new digital economy mean in this respect? Is there polarization in the labour market? Is growing inequality a result of prices in the housing market? What active public policies could be employed to reduce inequalities?


Nicolas Schmit (Minister of Labor, Government of Luxembourg)

Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Migration and Mobility in Europe and Central Asia

The sharp increase in asylum seekers and undocumented migrants has greatly heightened public concerns in Europe and Central Asia over immigration in general. The current debate, however, often overlooks the fact that the number of forced migrants in the area is not unprecedented, that an influx of refugees tends to be temporary in nature, and that there are stark differences between refugees and other types of migrants.

Hans Timmer, World Bank Chief Economist for Europe and Central Asia, will present his organisation’s latest report “Migration and Mobility in Europe and Central Asia” stressing that migration has played vital role in  social and economic history of Europe and Central Asia. He will argue that policy reforms should not focus on migration challenges in isolation. Rather, reforms should help both migrants and non-migrants cope with increased and unavoidable flexibility in labor markets.

Successful reforms will likely improve integration of migrants in host countries. Programs in origin countries could improve the mixed effects on family members left behind, who benefit from increased resources but suffer from the prolonged absence of parents, spouses, and adult children.

This event is co-organised with the World Bank under the umbrella of the MEDAM project.

Brussels, Belgium
Preventing inequality in ageing

An event organised within the FACTAGE and BEL-ageing projects under the umbrella of CEPS Ageing Societies Programme

Europe’s population is ageing fast. A growing range of inequalities can already be detected among the elderly. Mortality rates and health vary across socio-economic groups, affecting their respective earnings potential and the possibility to extend working lives.

With increasing labour market inequality over the past decades, higher statutory pension ages and recent pension reforms that tighten the link between contributions and benefits, there is a risk that inequalities among older people will increase in the coming years.

Hervé Boulhol, Senior Economist at the OECD, will present his organisation’s latest work on ways to address emerging inequalities among aging populations.

The discussion will emphasise a life-course approach, which seeks out policies that aim to prevent and mitigate inequalities from building up from an early age. The real challenge, however, will be to effectively design such policies within current budgetary constraints.

Participation in this event is exceptionally free of charge.

Registration from 15:00 – Meeting from 15:30 to 17:00

Brussels, Belgium
EKSOC Visiting Fellowship Programme at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology University of Lodz, Poland

The EKSOC Visiting Fellowship Programme at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology University of Lodz, Poland accepts applications until 10th of December 2017. Scholars specializing in fields related to social policy research are warmly welcomed to apply.

General information

In order to foster international cooperation in research and teaching, as well as to raise the academic profile of the Faculty of Economics and Sociology at the University of Lodz, each year it selects a number of distinguished academics who wish to spend a minimum of three months at the Faculty and engage in scholarly work. The idea underlying the EKSOC Visiting Fellowship Programme is to build on strategic areas within the Faculty, i.e. enhancing its educational offer, strengthening academic networks, and achieving excellence in research.

The EKSOC Fellowship Programme supports the research and teaching of visiting fellows at the Faculty. Visiting fellows are those who visit for a temporary period consisting of a minimum of three months. They are considered guests of the Faculty. During these months visiting fellows are expected to conduct 60 hours of teaching relating to their research interests and launch research activities in collaboration with scholars and PhD students from the Faculty.

Visiting fellows are invited to plan their stays during the regular academic year. Fall term appointments run from the 1st of October to the end of January. Spring appointments begin in mid-February and end in mid-June. Visiting fellows are expected to be in residence a minimum of three months during the term.

Lodz, Poland
Poverty Transitions in Ireland

Venue: ESRI, Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2

On 7 December, an event will take place to launch a new report titled Poverty Transitions in Ireland by Raffaele Grotti, Bertrand Maître, Dorothy Watson and Christopher T. Whelan.

Report description

In this report, we use Irish SILC data from 2004-2015 to examine poverty and deprivation transitions among various social risk groups – groups experiencing an increased risk of poverty due to non-class personal or family factors.  Social risk groups include: lone parents, people with a disability, young adults, children, working-age adults and older adults.   We exploit the longitudinal component of the data and primarily focus on cases where information is available for two consecutive waves. The report examines entry and exit rates into deprivation and poverty as well as the incidence of consistent poverty and deprivation (in both years). Lone parents emerge in all the analyses as the group most affected by poverty and deprivation. The relationship between poverty and deprivation is investigated and a modest overlap between the two is found. We also examine how different groups were affected at different times (pre and post-recession). While persistent deprivation increased with the onset of recession, the pattern for persistent poverty is less clear. Finally, an additional contribution of the paper is to examine the severity of attrition in the data, which leads to substantially reduced sample sizes and a slight underrepresentation of young adults and those with higher levels of education.

Dublin, Ireland
Annual Geary Lecture – Precarious Lives: Insecurity, Exclusion and Well-Being in Advanced Capitalist Democracies

Speaker: Arne L. Kalleberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The ESRI’s annual Geary Lecture will be held on 16 November. It will be delivered by Arne L. Kalleberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Precarious Lives: Insecurity, Exclusion and Well-Being in Advanced Capitalist Democracies

Precarious work (i.e., work that is insecure and uncertain, often low-paying, and in which the risks of work are shifted from employers and the government to workers) has emerged as a serious concern for individuals and families and underlies many of the insecurities that have fueled recent populist political movements.  The impacts of precarious work differ among countries depending on their labor market and welfare system institutions, laws and policies, and cultural factors.  My talk examines how people in six advanced industrial countries representing different welfare and employment regimes—Denmark, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States—differ in both their experience of precarious work and in outcomes of precarious work such as job and economic insecurity, entry into the labor force, and subjective well-being.

Dublin, Ireland