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Dr Jurgen Essletzbichler

Unit Value: 0.5 unit Year 3 Term 2


Objectives: The aim of this course is to introduce students to the complex and different processes that produce income inequality at various spatial scales from the global to the local.

Outline contents:

  • Causes, dimensions, scales and outcomes of inequality;
  • Key approaches, concepts, debates in economics, sociology, philosophy, geography, health sciences;
  • Historical and contemporary trends at the global, national and local scales;
  • The role of geography and neighborhood effects on inequality and inter-generational transfer of wealth;
  • Inequality and theories of social justice;


Evaluation: Practical assignment (40%) and course paper (60%)


Relationship to core skills teaching:

Teaching: Lectures, practicals and discussions


Advanced reading

Atkinson, A.B. and Bourguignon, F. (eds) (2007). The Handbook of Income Distribution. Volume 1. Elsevier: Amsterdam.

Chakravorty, S. (2006). Fragments of Inequality: Social, Spatial and Evolutionary Analyses of Income Distribution. New York: Routledge.

Hills, J., Brewer, M., Jenkins, S., Lister, R., Lupton, R., Machin, S., Mills, C., Modood, T., Rees, T., Riddell, S. (2010). An Anatomy of Inequality in the UK. A Report from the National Equality Panel. Government Equalities Office: London.

IMF (2007). Growing Unequal. World Economic Outlook. IMF: Washington, DC.


OECD (2008). Growing Unequal. Income Distribution and Poverty in OECD Countries. OECD: Paris.

Sen, A. K. 1992. Inequality Reexamined. Cambridge, Mass.: Russell Sage Foundation; Harvard University Press.

Smith, D. M. 1994. Geography and Social Justice. Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.

Smith, N. 2008. Uneven Development. Athens: Georgia.

Wilkinson, R. and Pickett, K. (2009). The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. Allen Lane: London.