LSE LSE Research Laboratory LSE
LSE Research Laboratory (RLAB)

Social exclusion: jobs and the life span

Whilst for half a century economic growth delivered not just higher incomes and standards of living overall but a gradual narrowing in the gap between rich and poor, in the late 1970s this all changed and the gap between rich and poor in the US, the UK and many other advanced economies has increased. Both policy formulation and academic debate have widened in recent years to focus on notions of social inclusion and exclusion as well as poverty. While contested, these notions draw attention to the dynamic nature of poverty and deprivation, their multi-dimensional nature, and the variety of levels - the individual, family, community and labour market - at which they operate. Investigating these makes for a complex but rich research challenge for the Lab to take up.

The Lab has brought together experts on social policy and public finance with labour economists to work on these issues. Using in-depth case studies from 12 of the poorest areas in the UK alongside longitudinal birth cohort surveys and neighbourhood data, they will address the following key research questions: how adult outcomes are related to childhood circumstances, including poverty and family circumstances; how living in a low income neighbourhood affects people's life chances and aspirations, school quality, involvement in crime and employment chances; why pockets of high unemployment persist immediately adjacent to areas with the highest level of vacancies in the country; how government policy towards social security, taxation, the welfare state and area-based intervention affects people both in the short run and across their lives.