What are the root causes of economic inequality? How did it evolve since the golden sixties? Did it take new forms? What can and should we do about it? These are some of the key questions that will be addressed during this half-day conference. In the first part of the conference, leading academics will present research focused on various aspects of income and wealth inequality. A roundtable discussion on shared prosperity will follow the academic presentations.
This event is co-sponsored by the Georgetown University Global Economic Challenges Network, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management (Université Libre de Bruxelles) – Public Policy House.
Micael Castanheira (panel moderator) is director for research of the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique and a professor of economics at the European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics, which is part of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He is also a research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Castanheira obtained his Ph.D. in economics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and has been a post-doctoral fellow at Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research (IGIER) at Bocconi University, Milan and a visiting scholar at New York University.
Paula Gobbi is a professor at the European Center for Advanced Research in Economics and Statistics and the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and a research affiliate at the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Gobbi was awarded the prestigious European Research Council starting grant in 2020. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Université Catholique de Louvain. Her research focuses on the economic determinants of fertility, gender issues, and intra-household decision models for childcare arrangements and has appeared in leading journals including the American Economic Review, the Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Economic Journal.
Chinhui Juhn is the Henry Graham Professor of Economics at the University of Houston. She is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and is slated to be president of the Society of Labor Economists from 2024 to 2025. Juhn has served as co-editor of the American Economic Review and contributed pioneering research on U.S. wage inequality. Her papers have examined the role of skill prices on the evolution of wage inequality, as well as the racial wage gap. She has written on family labor supply, earnings instability, and the impact of trade liberalization policies on gender inequality. Her work has been published in top journals such as the Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and American Economic Review.
Luigi Pistaferri is the Ray Lyman Wilbur Professor of Economics at Stanford University and the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic and Policy Research. He is also research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). His research focuses mainly on household choices: consumption, saving, portfolio allocation, labor supply, and time use. His papers have appeared in the American Economic Review, Econometrica, the Review of Economic Studies, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Journal of Political Economy among others. He was a co-editor of the American Economic Review from 2012 to 2017. In 2016 he was elected fellow of the Econometric Society.
André Sapir is professor emeritus at Université Libre de Bruxelles and senior fellow of Bruegel. He has worked for the European Commission as economic advisor to the director-general for economic and financial affairs from 1990 to 2001 and to president Romano Prodi from 2001 to 2004. Afterwards, he was external advisor to president José Manuel Barroso and member of the general board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB), Europe’s financial stability oversight body 2011-2015. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin, the Graduate Institute in Geneva, the College of Europe in Bruges, and the University of Louvain, and was visiting fellow at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Sapir has written extensively on European integration, international trade, and globalization. In 2004, he published An Agenda for a Growing Europe, a report by a group of independent experts that is known as the Sapir report. He received a Ph.D. in economics from the Johns Hopkins University in 1977.
Francis Vella (academic conference chair) is the Edmond V. Villani Professor at Georgetown University and a research associate of Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice (CEMMAP), Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). He is an elected fellow of the Econometric Society and the International Association for Applied Econometrics. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Applied Econometrics.
Margrethe Vestager is executive vice president of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age and Competition. She is the Danish government’s candidate for the position as president of the European Investment Bank. She previously served as commissioner for competition from 2014 to 2019, minister for economic affairs and the interior from 2011 to 14, and minister for education from 1998 to 2001 of Denmark. She was political leader of the Danish Social Liberal Party from 2007 to 2014, and has worked for the Danish Ministry of Finance from 1993 to 1995. Vestager holds a master of science in economics from the University of Copenhagen.
Gabriel Zucman is professor of economics at the Paris School of Economics, associate professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and founding director of the EU Tax Observatory. He is the author of articles published in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies, and of two books. His research focuses on the accumulation, distribution, and taxation of global wealth and has renewed the analysis of the macroeconomic and distributional implications of globalization. Zucman was named an Andrew Carnegie Fellow in 2021, and received the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association in 2023. He was awarded the Bernacer Prize and a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2019, the Best Young French Economist Prize by Le Monde and le Cercle des Economistes in 2018, and the Excellence Award in Global Economic Affairs by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy in 2017.
6:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EST (12:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. CET) | Academic Conference on the Multiple Facets of Inequality
• Chinhui Juhn, University of Houston, “Gender Inequality in Sorting into Top Jobs”
• Paula Gobbi, Université Libre de Bruxelles, “Inheritance, Demographics, and Economic Development”
• Luigi Pistaferri, Stanford University, “Assortative Mating and Wealth”
• Francis Vella (chair), Georgetown University
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST (4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. CET) | Policy Roundtable and Q&A on Pathways to Shared Prosperity in Europe
• Margrethe Vestager, European Commission (currently on leave)
• André Sapir, Bruegel and Université Libre de Bruxelles
• Gabriel Zucman, University of California, Berkeley and Paris School of Economics
• Micael Castanheira (moderator), Université Libre de Bruxelles