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Manon Masse, Geneviève Piérart, Francine Julien-Gauthier, Danièle Wolf

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Income and wealth inequality, deprivation and wellbeing in Switzerland, 1990-2013

(2013 - TerminĂ©)
Christian Suter (Professeur, Université de Neuchâtel), Monica Budowski (Professeure, Université de Fribourg), Eric Crettaz , Katia Iglesias (Dr, Université de Neuchâtel), Maurizia Masia (Dr, Université de Fribourg), Laura Ravazzini (Université de Neuchâtel), Jehane Moussa (Université de Neuchâtel)


The study of social inequalities is of great importance since the life chances of individuals and social groups are shaped by the unequal distribution of the central material and non-material social goods. The proposed project is motivated by the growing international scientific debate on and public awareness of persistent and growing inequalities and its effects on individual and collective wellbeing (regarding the international public debate, see the “Europe 2020” strategy of the European Union or the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report).

The central aim of this project is to examine the evolution of the distribution of income, wealth, household debt and deprivation in Switzerland from the early 1990s onwards, and to investigate their impact as well as that of other social inequalities on subjective wellbeing. The project is divided into three closely related re-search modules: Module 1 “Economic inequality: Macro-level dynamics” investigates the fluctuations in inequalities of household income, wealth, debt and deprivation between 1990 and 2013, both overall and among particular groups at the macro level. This module calculates the commonly used measures of income and wealth/net worth concentration and dispersion, as well as indicators of relative deprivation based on existing large data sets. Module 2 “Micro-level dynamics of income inequality and deprivation, and provides an in-depth study of persistence and change of income inequality and deprivation (including the relationships between income and deprivation, and the analysis of the determinants of income and deprivation episodes and trajectories) at the micro level of individuals and households. Module 3 “Social inequalities and subjective wellbeing” focuses on the impact of social inequalities and deprivation on subjective wellbeing. In addition to overall satisfaction, we take into account life-domain satisfaction and respondents’ life events. 

Mots-clés: Economic inequality; Income inequality; Wealth inequality; Relative deprivation; Indebtedness; Social inequalities; Wellbeing; Social change; Longitudinal analysis


FNS - Division 1


Insertion et exclusion