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Richard Blundell (University College London) Antonio Cabrales (UC3M)

Inequality and the Covid Crisis

Social Sciences Conference Monday, 28 March 2022, 19:00 hours Madrid

General information:

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces - salón de actos. Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity.

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces and Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M)

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Inequalities are at the forefront of today’s public and policy debates. They have been linked to some of the most important political events, including the rise of populism across the developed world and the vote for Brexit, and have sparked worldwide protest movements. There could hardly be a more pressing time to understand how inequalities arise, which ones matter, why they matter, and how they should be addressed.

This lecture will review the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on inequalities in education, the labour market, household living standards, mental health, and wealth, particularly in the case of the UK.

The pandemic has pushed up inequalities on several dimensions. School closures particularly disrupted the learning of poorer children, leading to lower attainment. Mental health worsened for those groups (women and younger adults) who had poorer mental health pre-pandemic. Lockdowns and social distancing particularly reduced the ability of younger, lower-earning, and less educated people to work.

However, job-support programmes combined with the expanded welfare system meant that, if anything, disposable income inequality fell. Rising house prices have benefited people in particular around the middle of the wealth distribution. In the longer term, lower work experience for the less educated and missed schooling could push up some inequalities. Increased rates of working from home seem likely to persist which may increase some inequalities and decrease others.

Monday,  28 March

18:30 h.

Attendees check-in

19:00 h.

Welcome and presentation

Antonio Cabrales 
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

 19:10 h.

Inequality and the Covid Crisis

Richard Blundell
University College London.

  Richard Blundell

Professor Sir Richard Blundell, CBE FBA holds the David Ricardo Chair of Political Economy at University College London where he was appointed Professor of Economics in 1984. He is Director of the ESRC Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) where he was Research Director 1986 - 2016. He holds Honorary Doctorates from the University of St.Gallen; Norwegian School of Economics NHH; University of Mannheim; Universita della Svizzera; University of Bristol; and University of Venice Ca’Foscari. He has held visiting professor positions at UBC, MIT, Chicago, Northwestern, TSE and Berkeley. He was Knighted in the 2014 New Years Honours list for services to Economics and Social Science; he was awarded the CBE in 2006.

His published papers on microeconometrics, consumer behavior, savings, labour supply, taxation, public finance, innovation, and inequality have appeared in the top academic journals. He was co-editor of Econometrica 1997-2001, co-editor of the Journal of Econometrics 1992–1997. He is founding editor of Microeconomic Insights. He was an editor and panel member of the IFS Mirrlees Review: Tax Reform for the 21st Century. He is currently editor and panel member of the IFS-Deaton Review: Inequality in the 21st Century. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the British Academy, the American Economic Association, American Academy of Arts and Science, the Institute of Actuaries and the National Academy of Science. He has been President of the European Economics Association; the Econometric Society; the Society of Labor Economics, and the Royal Economic Society. He was recipient of the 1995 Yrjö Jahnsson Prize; the 2000 Frisch Prize; the 2008 Jean-Jacques Laffont Prize; the 2015 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Prize in Economics; the 2016 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics; and the 2020 Jacob Mincer Prize in Labor Economics. 

   Antonio Cabrales

Antonio Cabrales holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and a B.A. from Universidad Complutense. He has been a Professor and Head of the department of Economics at University College London, and a Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He is also the executive vice president of the European Economic Association and former president of the Spanish Economic Association and honorary fellow at both associations. He works in the economics of networks and mechanism design, learning and evolutionary games, experimental and behavioral economics, and industrial organization. He is associate editor at the Journal of Economic Theory, and formerly an editor of the Berkeley Electronic Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy and Investigaciones Económicas, as well as former associate editor of the Journal of the European Economic Association and SERIEs. 

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