Addressing Social Inequality in Migration, Urbanisation and Adaptation to Climate Impact in China

Understanding the role of social inequality is crucial if we are to unravel the climate impact, human adaption and migration nexus, but there is limited empirical evidence addressing it, especially in urban settings. In our study recently published in Population and Environment (Tan et al. 2015) as part of the Climate Change and Migration in China project funded by the Australian Research Council, we consider social inequality from three major dimensions: material inequality (the economic), social status inequality (the social) and power inequality (the political). Our consideration was based on the theories of socio-spatial inequality (Sheppard 2002) and social inequality (Goldthorpe 2010). Continue reading

Twenty-Five Years After the ADA: Celebrating its Virtues and Understanding its Failures

The Americans with Disabilities Act had important impacts on improving accessibility and increasing public awareness about the struggles of people with disabilities. The ADA made the US a world leader – its language the basis for national policies in the US and the UK, as well as the UN Convention on Disability Rights.

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Decomposing the Effect of Crime on Population Changes

How crime affects the migration decisions of individuals is important for two main reasons. First, increases in crime may cause individuals to leave a locality, which erodes the tax base required to address further increases in criminal justice and public safety initiatives. Additionally, crime may inflict other externalities, since long-distance moves are costly.

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On Student Mobility From Post-Soviet Countries

Internationally mobile students remain the least studied category of migrants despite the remarkable growth in the numbers of students who choose to study abroad. With 8% of 4 million internationally mobile students originating from post-Soviet countries, very little is known about the macroeconomic factors that may push young people from this region to pursue undergraduate education abroad, or the most popular destination countries for them.

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On The Measurement of Slum Dwelling in Urban India

More than half the world now lives in urban areas. In many low- and middle-income countries, the speed and scale of urban growth has outpaced the provision of services, leading to a proliferation of informal settlements without access to water and sanitation, garbage collection, or security of tenure. The urbanization and concentration of poverty and deprivation in these settings is often characterized by residential crowding, exposure to environmental hazards, and social fragmentation and exclusion (Wratten, 1995) – a cluster of conditions frequently referred to with the catch-all term of “slum-dwelling.”

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The Role of School District Boundary Lines in Perpetuating School Segregation

Much of the current American educational policy focuses on individual-level reforms that are intended to encourage teachers to work harder so that students will learn more and achieve higher levels on standardized tests. However, this approach fails to recognize the importance of structural features in supporting or limiting students’ academic success. The organization of school districts and the extent to which they segregate students has major implications for the educational opportunities of students and their corresponding outcomes.

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The Role of Inheritance and Labor Income in Marital Choices

From Honoré de Balzac to Jane Austen, many nineteenth century novels give examples of marriage of convenience in which the spousal wealth is determinant. Today, people probably marry more frequently for love, and family has less power than during the nineteenth century. But has the importance of inheritance in marital choices disappeared? This research is grounded upon recent findings on long-term trends in inheritance and wealth. Whether this situation is important for the dynamics of inequality over time depends, among other things, on marital decisions – do heirs marry heiresses? – as family plays a decisive role in the transmission of capital, be it human, social or material.

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Does Climbing the ‘Social Ladder’ Increase Life Satisfaction? A Comparison of the UK and Switzerland

It is a widely held belief that status and wealth affect subjective well-being (SWB). This is reflected in the efforts of many people to climb up the ‘social ladder’ and to transcend their social background. By being upwardly mobile, they hope to benefit from various rewards they believe to be associated with desirable societal positions. However, findings from a range of disciplines provide evidence that these benefits are not to be taken for granted. Thus, we decided investigate the question of how upward social mobility impacts life satisfaction, the cognitive component of SWB.

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Perceptions of Inequality and Protest

In a recent post, Noah Carl described inequality “as one of the central political issues of our time” pointing to the growing number of cross-national protests mobilized around economic inequality. This mobilization has no doubt helped increase salience around the issue of inequality and while it may not have necessarily led to any specific policies designed to address inequality, it surely got the issue onto the policy agenda. But what might explain why individuals participate in these forms of political and collective action? Carl alludes to a possible factor when he points to his preliminary evidence “that citizens’ concern about inequality is correlated with the belief that individual effort determines income.”

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Sustainable Development in Developing Countries: Ramifications of Urbanisation and Poverty

Globally, sustainable development is recognised as a potential pathway for building resilient cities, reducing poverty and safeguarding the natural environment. With its aim to achieve a symbiotic relationship between the economy, society and the environment, the concept of sustainable development has increasingly focused on fostering adaptive capabilities and creating opportunities to maintain or achieve desirable social, economic and ecological systems for both present and future generations (Cobbinah et al., 2011; Folke et al., 2002; WCED, 1987). As a result, international policies, programmes and institutions over the past three decades have been considerably shaped by the idea of sustainable development. Continue reading