2177 Effects of Inequality on Social, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability
Mag. Simon Sturn, Ph.D.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/08/22 to 09/13/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Friday 10/07/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 10/14/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 10/21/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 10/28/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 11/04/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 11/11/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 11/18/22 10:30 AM - 02:00 PM Online-Einheit


A significant amount of empirical studies suggests that income inequality harms social, economic, and environmental sustainability. In this course, we critically assess several important contributions to this literature. We begin by briefly discussing methodological challenges and basics about causal identification, before looking at trends in income inequality across countries. The center of the course build studies investigating effects of rising income inequality on various outcomes, like crime, household indebtedness, innovation, and the environment. The final part looks at drivers of income inequality, and options policy makers have to address high inequality.

Learning outcomes

Upon 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.
  • Basics about causality and credible identification strategies.
  • How to (critically) read academic articles.

Attendance requirements

Examination-immanent courses (PI) have compulsory attendance. In case of absence the lecturer is to be informed in advance if possible. Especially the first three sections provide crucial inputs and attendance is important. There are regularly small quizzes on the readings and presentations, and participation is a relevant part of the final grade.

Teaching/learning method(s)

  • Lectures
  • Student group presentations
  • 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 topics (15%) 
  • Participation (20%)

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. Many of these papers apply advanced regression analysis. Students are not required to know these methods to accomplish this course, since the focus lies on 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: 2022-04-13