GUODLCCI: Growing up Unequal? The Origins, Dynamics and Lifecycle Consequences of Childhood Inequalities

Over the last decades, economic and social inequalities in Europe have risen sharply along many dimensions. We propose a four-strand research programme aimed at understanding these phenomena by focusing on the origins, dynamics and consequences of early inequalities in human capital accumulation in France, Norway and the UK. First, we examine the impacts of early shocks on inequalities in human capital and socio-economic outcomes at different stages of the lifecycle. Second, we assess the performance of targeted vs universal policies at reducing inequalities by socioeconomic status and gender across the three countries. Third, we analyse the role of parents in compensating and/or reinforcing children’s human capital endowments and the implications for the intergenerational transmission of inequalities. Fourth, we study the role of peers and assess the potential of simple interventions influencing social interactions between students in reducing inequalities. All four strands directly relate to the aims of the NORFACE DIAL research programme. Our research will benefit policy-makers and European citizens by informing the design of early life policies that can reduce social, economic and health inequalities. Additionally, it will contribute to the academic literature on the process of human capital formation and its role in shaping inequalities. The research teams forming this bid will take a multi-disciplinary, cross-country comparative perspective, and will use state-of-the-art econometric methods and rich administrative, longitudinal survey and experimental data from all three countries. The main applicant, Kjell Salvanes, has extensive experience managing large research grants with international collaborators.

Research team

Prof. K.G. Salvanes
Norwegian School of Economics

Prof. M. Gurgand
Paris School of Economics

Dr G. Conti
Institute for Fiscal Studies

The University of Tartu is Cooperation Partner to this project.