Economic inequality project wins major European funding

11 Oct 19

Economic inequality project wins major European funding

The project involving Senior Research Fellow Brian Nolan will receive €9.8 million from a European Research Council Synergy grant.

A new six year project led by Senior Research Fellow Brian Nolan, with Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Emmanuel Saez of the University of California at Berkeley, has been awarded a European Research Council Synergy Grant worth €9.8 million, it was announced today.

‘Towards a System of Distributional National Accounts’ (DINA) will pursue an innovative approach to comprehensively capture economic inequality through ‘distributional national accounts’, producing annual estimates of the distribution of income and wealth for all countries.

Existing economic statistics do not provide a comprehensive picture of income, wealth and how growth is distributed across the population. Progress has been made in understanding the top of the income distribution, but there are still important limitations in measuring and understanding how economic growth is spread across society. DINA, using an innovative system of ‘synthetic DINA micro-files’ will address this challenge head-on, building bridges between micro and macroeconomic concepts, indicators and sources of data.

The project will build upon the latest developments in the field of inequality research and will bring together academics and governmental statistical institutions to develop an international, standardised system of Distributional National Accounts. The estimates will be made available online and will play a critical role in public debates about income and wealth inequality and who benefits from economic growth.

The Synergy Grants are awarded by the European Research Council to projects that address challenges – curing cancer, tackling climate change, forecasting earthquakes – that are simply too big for one researcher, no matter how excellent, to address. 37 research groups received a total of €363 million this year to support their curiosity-driven science.