5854 Sustainable Economics and Business II: Inequality, Well-Being and Sustainability
Assist.Prof. Mag. Simon Sturn, Ph.D.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/06/19 to 02/23/19
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 02/27/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM TC.3.12
Wednesday 03/06/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM D2.0.392
Wednesday 05/29/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM TC.5.04
Wednesday 06/05/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM TC.3.12
Wednesday 06/12/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM TC.3.12
Wednesday 06/19/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM TC.3.12
Wednesday 06/26/19 02:30 PM - 06:00 PM TC.3.12

In this class we will investigate effects of socio-economic inequality on well-being and sustainability. A thriving literature analyses the development of income inequality over time, its determinants, and its consequences. The aim of this class is to read several significant contributions to these fields, and discuss their implications. Specifically, the first part of the course focuses on recent trends in income inequality. We will also briefly discuss inequality by gender and race. The second part investigates the determinants of income inequality. The third and largest part looks at the effects of inequality on various outcomes, like crime, consumerism, household indebtedness, and the environment. The final part of the class deals with options policy makers have to address income inequality.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will know:

  • About recent trends in income inequality in and between countries, and understand the core-differences between various measures of inequality.
  • How inequality affects our society, economy, and environment.
  • Key determinants of income inequality, and how policy makers can tackle inequality without causing significant unintended side effects.
  • How to read academic articles, and hear about different empirical approaches and some of their advantages and limitations.
Attendance requirements

Examination-immanent courses (PI) have compulsory attendance.
In case of absence the lecturer is to be informed in advance if possible.
More detailed regulations on absenteeism will be explained in the first unit.

Teaching/learning method(s)

  • Lectures
  • Student group presentations
  • Class discussions
  • Videos
  • Note: Students are required to read, present, and discuss academic articles.

  • Presentation (40%)
  • Prepared comment on other group's presentation (10%)
  • Discussion questions on readings (15%)
  • Short quizzes on previous class (15%)
  • Class participation (20%)
  • Note: There will regularly be small quizzes on the readings and presentations, and class participation is a relevant part of the final grade; thus, regular attendance is required.

    Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

    Course enrollment is on the basis of "first-come, first-served” principle. If you have registered but cannot participate in the course, please de-register via LPIS during the registration period so that your course is available to students on the waiting list.


    If there is a waiting list for enrollment in the course, students at the waiting list will be notified after the end of the enrollment period, and will be allocated to available places. Students will be ranked by their study progress not by their rank on the waiting list.


    This procedure, however, is not to be understood as a place guarantee!

    Recommended previous knowledge and skills

    Students are required to read, present, and discuss academic articles and papers on covered topics. Some of these papers apply empirical methods. Students are not required to know these methods to accomplish this class, since the focus lies on the intuition and big picture of these papers. It helps, however, if they are interested in learning how to interpret empirical findings.

    Availability of lecturer(s)
    Last edited: 2019-01-30