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Measuring Economic Inequality in Today’s World

University of London via FutureLearn


Measure wealth and income inequality to promote meaningful public policy change

Overall living standards around the world have jumped in the past 250 years, but this has been accompanied by unprecedented economic inequalities in modern society. A few countries have achieved affluence, in many, most people still live in grinding poverty, and the rest fall somewhere in between.

The first step to combating economic and income inequality is collecting, examining, and interpreting data related to these issues. Only then can governments address them with changes to public policy.

This four-week course from University College London (UCL) gives you the foundations you need to begin to engage in tackling these global concerns.

Foster real change with effective data analysis

Successful measurement of inequality depends on careful data analysis using the right metrics. That’s why you’ll learn the specific skills needed to evaluate data related to wealth and income inequality.

Explore specific public policy changes to combat inequality

You’ll also get appropriate background readings explaining what economic inequality looks like in societies today, how it has changed over time, and how governments can address the issue.

With these insights, and your data-handling and statistical skills, you will gain the confidence to participate in debates on inequality and on how policies can change it.

Enjoy the support of CORE and seasoned economics experts

University College London is a proud base for CORE (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics), a global community dedicated to developing innovative and accessible learning materials in economics.

The course is based on CORE’s suite of ebooks created by the world’s top researchers and educators. The University’s levels of excellence are consistently maintained, and you’ll benefit from them throughout this course.

This course is designed for anyone interested in using statistical software for data analysis, especially to help address economic inequality. Undergraduates, postgraduates, and secondary school students (from GCSE level) will all benefit from it.

For the best experience, we recommend using a laptop or computer to complete this course. Some tasks require the use of software that is not suitable to be completed on a mobile phone. To complete the data exercises, you’ll need access to Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.


  • Income inequality over the past millennium
    • Introduction to the course
    • Introduction to income inequality
    • How do we measure income and living standards?
    • Week 1 summary
  • Measuring income inequality
    • Measuring inequality in income and living standards
    • Trends in income and wealth inequality (1700s - 2010)
    • Week 2 summary
  • Inequalities in health and education
    • Inequalities in healthcare and life expectancy
    • Inequalities in education
    • Week 3 summary
  • How government policy can address inequality
    • Redistributive policies
    • Addressing inequality: case studies
    • Inequality and economic growth
    • Week 4 summary

Taught by

Eileen Tipoe


4 rating at FutureLearn based on 8 ratings

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