Understanding Gender in Wealth Inequality - Humboldt-Universität - 1,2 October 2020

The "Understanding Gender in Wealth Inequality" workshop has issued a call for papers for the event that will take place on 1-2 October 2020 at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin. The deadline is 30 April 2020.


Gender inequalities in education and labour market achievements have narrowed in the last decades in most Western countries. Nevertheless, the gender gap persists in terms of economic outcomes such as income and wealth, as women have substantially lower lifetime earnings and hold less financial, housing and pension wealth than men on average. An increasing number of studies have provided empirical evidence for the gender pay gap and the motherhood penalty during early and mid-adulthood. Despite the cumulative effect of wealth, gender disparities in wealth accumulation remain largely under-researched. Furthermore, wealth is often studied at the household level and assumed to be shared equally within households, which masks any inequality within households.

Therefore, this workshop will consider two different aspects of gender wealth inequality: between households and within the household. Understanding the multiple dimensions of gender wealth inequality is critical, as these inform how and to what extent wealth inequality is linked to women’s economic autonomy and freedom of choices over the life-course.

The workshop:

This two-day workshop has two goals. First, it aims to enhance the understanding of gendered patterns, mechanisms, and consequences of wealth inequality. Second, it brings a multidisciplinary group of early-career researchers to develop a collective research agenda concerning conceptual issues, methodological challenges and policy implications in this area of study.

Questions that may be addressed include:

  • What are the challenges and potential solutions in measuring wealth within households?
  • What are the recent trends and patterns of the gender wealth gap in a country-specific or a comparative perspective over time?
  • What are systematic gender (dis)advantages and to what extent do they explain wealth inequalities between men and women?
  • How do the differences in men’s and women’s life courses explain different wealth accumulation patterns?
  • How do individuals within couples define personal and joint wealth? To what extent is wealth becoming individualised and how does this affect gender inequality in wealth?
  • How and to what extent do partners share wealth? (including at the point of different life course events, such as divorce or separation)

The workshop will consist of individual presentations in thematically organised sessions, as well as additional networking sessions in which participants will have opportunities to connect and discuss future collaborations. Confirmed keynote speakers are Sofie R. Waltl (Assistant Professor, Vienna University of Economics and Business and the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research, LISER) and Céline Bessière (Professor, Université Paris-Dauphine).

Abstract submission:

We invite early-career researchers using qualitative or quantitative methods in Social Policy, Sociology, Economics, Law, Psychology and related disciplines to submit abstracts (up to 500 words) for presentations at the workshop by 30 April 2020. You will be notified about the acceptance of your abstract by 1 June 2020. All participants are required to submit a full paper or current draft prior to the workshop. Please send your Curriculum Vitae (CV) and paper abstract to gender.wealth@gmail.com.

The workshop is free of charge. Participants are responsible for funding their own travel and accommodation costs. Financial assistance may be available for a limited number of participants. The workshop is funded by the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR) Network Workshop Grant.

Organising committee:

Ellie Suh (University of Oxford & CASE, London School of Economics), Nicole Kapelle (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin & University of Queensland), Theresa Nutz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Daria Tisch (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Andreas Weiland (Universität Mannheim)

Neuchâtel's single-parent homes on social assistance in the light of a study by the LIVES research cluster

According to a study by the NCCR LIVES "Overcoming Vulnerability: Life-Course Perspectives", single-parent homes in Neuchâtel on social assistance are generally run by women facing multiple problems. Indeed, interviews with single mothers indicate an accumulation of disadvantages over the life course linked to social origin, incomplete schooling, health problems, migratory experience or inequalities in the life of a couple.

The first part of the study, which is quantitative, provides an overview of the profile of the population concerned for the year 2016 based on the cantonal database of recipients of economic social assistance (ASE). According to this census, in more than 90% of cases, it consists of a single mother of around 40 years of age and her children. These families are more likely to live in the more urbanised areas of the canton. Cases of widowhood are very rare.

Most single parents are in an assistance unit with only one dependent child, and the youngest child is on average 9.5 years old. More than a fifth of the parents are employed and often work part-time. Slightly more than half of the single-parent households receiving ESA in the canton of Neuchâtel are of Swiss nationality, while a quarter are nationals of a European country.

Finally, only a small minority of beneficiaries manage to leave the ASE in less than twelve months, and almost all of the households remain in long-term support. In the beneficiary households headed by fathers, the same profile characteristics of the total population (mothers and fathers) are generally found.

Exit from social assistance impeded by work and health

The second and third parts of the study highlight the factors that may contribute to and exit from welfare. These components are based on interviews with welfare recipients and professionals working in social services. All respondents point to multiple difficulties that accumulate and interlock throughout the life course, until a trigger (job loss, end of unemployment insurance entitlements, separation/divorce, etc.) makes them difficult to manage and leads people to depend on economic social assistance. Thus, the importance of the payment and amounts of alimony and child support is emphasized by both recipients and social work professionals.

The lack of reliable childcare solutions is often mentioned, making it difficult for single parents to pursue a professional activity. Among the factors that can prevent people from leaving the assistance are working in sectors with few jobs, physical health problems or the relatively old age of the beneficiaries for the labour market. In addition, the prospect of becoming subject to seizure in the event of exit from the scheme, for beneficiaries with debts, may create an incentive to stay on welfare.

Prevent, support and educate to get by

The study reveals the importance of working upstream to prevent the accumulation of disadvantages. In this case, it is a question of taking action in multiple areas of life: schooling, mental health, social and professional integration, etc. Furthermore, it is important that the financial support of social assistance be taken into account by family/work reconciliation policies specific to the needs of single parents. From the point of view of the beneficiaries, support solutions better adapted to the different types of beneficiaries would be desirable, depending on the employment sector for example, and in particular in the form of additional training not currently covered by social assistance.

This research was carried out in partnership with the Office for Family Policy and Equality of the Canton of Neuchâtel and led by Dr. Ornella Larenza under the direction of Prof. Laura Bernardi (University of Lausanne, NCCR LIVES). She is studying the multiple facets of single-parent households in Neuchâtel on social assistance. After completing her doctorate at the NCCR LIVES, Dr. Ornella Larenza is now a researcher at the University of Applied Sciences of Ticino (SUPSI).

The complete study is available on our "Reports, partnerships, events" page. Any questions in this regard can be addressed to the author of the study.

Ornella Larenza, PhD


SUPSI - Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana
DEASS - Dipartimento economia aziendale, sanità e sociale
Palazzo E, Via Cantonale 16e
CH-6928 Manno
Ufficio 206
+41 (0)58 666 6729


Journées internationales de sociologie du travail 2020 : Les frontières du travail : déplacements, brouillages et recompositions

Les 17ème Journées internationales de sociologie du travail (JIST), co-organisées par le PRN LIVES, se dérouleront du 4 au 6 novembre 2020 à l’Université de Lausanne. La thématique de cette année est : « Les frontières du travail : déplacements, brouillages et recompositions ». Dans ce cadre, les JIST 2020 lancent un appel à communication jusqu’au 30 avril 2020.

Cette année les JIST se penchent sur la thématique des « frontières ». Il s’agit de réfléchir aux frontières du travail à la fois dans un sens matériel et institutionnalisé (frontières nationales, groupes professionnels, statuts d’emploi…) mais aussi dans un sens symbolique et informel (travail d’organisation et d’exécution, travail « féminin » et « masculin »…). Cet événement souhaite ainsi privilégier une réflexion sur les recompositions en cours autour des catégories et catégorisations de travailleurs et de travailleuses.

Appel à communication

Les JIST ont lancé un appel à communication à cette occasion. Les organisateurs sont particulièrement intéressés à recevoir des projets interrogeant les recompositions actuelles du monde du travail en analysant l’évolution de ses frontières. Voici les informations et différentes dates importantes quant à cet appel à communication :

  • Date limite de proposition de communication : 22 mai 2020 
    Envoi d’un résumé de 2 500 signes maximum (espaces compris), présentant la problématique, le cadre théorique, les supports empiriques et les principaux résultats. Ce résumé comportera un titre et trois à cinq mots clés. Rédigé de préférence en français (ou en anglais ou en espagnol) il sera déposé sur la plateforme : http://www.unil.ch/jist2020
  • Réponse du Comité scientifique : début juin 2020
  • Diffusion du programme final : début août 2020
  • Date limite d’envoi du texte final de la communication : 1er octobre 2020
    D’une longueur de 30 000 à 50 000 signes (espaces compris), rédigé de préférence en français (ou en anglais ou en espagnol), le texte final de la communication sera adressé à : jist2020@unil.ch
  • Journées internationales de sociologie du travail : 4-6 novembre 2020

Une liste de pistes analytiques, un programme prévisionnel ainsi que d’autres informations relatives à ces journées sont disponibles sur le site internet de l’événement ou alors via le document disponible ci-dessous.


Public lecture by Prof. Marc Scott (NYU) - Sequence analysis and life course studies

Public lecture by Prof. Marc Scott (NYU) - Sequence analysis and life course studies

Prof. Marc Scott, from New York University, will give a public lecture during NCCR LIVES Doctoriales on 5 February 2020, "Both sides now: Methodological frameworks for objectives and challenges in sequence analysis".

Methods and models for life course studies are guided by the principle that progress through life is contextual and multi-dimensional. This poses the challenge of distilling large sequences of events into meaningful factors that can be related to other dimensions of the life course. Due to the categorical and temporal characteristics of these events, the field of sequence analysis developed to address fundamental social science questions emerging from rich longitudinal studies. These include questions that are relatively easy to state, but hard to specify and answer, such as to what extent does early life history matter in shaping events in later adulthood? More generally, how do we relate the full content of life experiences (literally the information contained within them) to subsequent outcomes, or across concurrent dimensions? We discuss current and developing frameworks that address these methodological challenges, comparing and contrasting them in the context of patterns in cohabitation and professional status (early home life, education, work and family) using the Swiss Household Panel.


5 February 2020
16.15 - 17.30
UNIL Géopolis, room 2137

NCCR LIVES Doctoriales 2020 - 9th edition

NCCR LIVES Doctoriales 2020 - 9th edition

Eighteen young researchers of the NCCR LIVES Doctoral Programme will present their thesis projects to internal and external experts on Tuesday 4 and Wednesday 5 February 2020 in Lausanne.

The 9th edition of the National Centre of Competence in Research Doctoral Programme LIVES "Overcoming Vulnerability, Life Course Perspective" will be held at the University of Lausanne, Géopolis, on 4 and 5 February 2020.

During these two days, doctoral students registered in the LIVES Doctoral Program will present the progress of their research. Experts internal and external to LIVES are mobilized to listen to them and comment on their project, bringing interdisciplinary expertise to young researchers.

The themes covered by the current theses cover many of the areas covered by the NCCR LIVES, such as health, ageing, migration, professional trajectories, family, interpersonal networks, social structures and methodology.

The event is closed with a public lecture by Marc Scott, Professor of Applied Statistics at New York University, "Both sides now: Methodological frameworks for objectives and challenges in sequence analysis".



The next Alp-Pop conference will take place on January 19-22, 2019 in La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy. It brings together scholars interested in population issues across several disciplines, including demography, economics, epidemiology, political science, sociology and psychology.

The conference emphasizes empirical rigor and innovation over a given topic or geographical area, and meets the challenges of interdisciplinary and international audiences. Inquiries can be addressed via email to: alp.pop@unibocconi.it.

The confirmed key-note speakers for the 2020 Conference are:

  • Hilary HOYNES (University of California Berkeley)
  • Jan VAN BAVEL (University of Leuven)

Alp-Pop scholars confer both formally and informally. A traditional conference program (paper and poster presentations) mixes with group activities in a world-class winter resort. The conference location, the Hotel Planibel in La Thuile (Aosta Valley), is next to the ski-slopes, and is in close proximity to the airports of Geneva and Torino/Milano.

Participants are expected to seek their own funding. Special-rate rooms have been reserved at the conference hotel with arrival on January 19 (conference starts in the afternoon) and departure on January 22 (the conference will end in the late morning). Participants will receive information on how to reach La Thuile and regular updates on the conference organization.

Organizing committee: 

  • Arnstein Aassve (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
  • Massimo Anelli (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
  • Nicoletta Balbo (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)
  • Laura Bernardi (Swiss National Center for Competence in Research LIVES, University of Lausanne)
  • Francesco Billari (Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Bocconi University)