Persistent disadvantage

Morten Blekesaune and Richard Berthoud, University of Essex

[Project number 20094]

The Cabinet Office and the Department for Trade and Industry have set up the Equalities Review to 'investigate the causes of persistent discrimination and inequalities in British society'. One of the key features of the review is that it will look across disadvantaged groups (by age, by gender, by ethnic group, by disability and so on) to compare experiences and to identify common processes. This wide view of disadvantage implies the need for direct comparisons between groups using quantitative data. The focus on persistent differences implies the use of data that span preferably a few decades.

The Cabinet Office has proposed that the Institute for Social & Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex should address a set of issues under the heading of 'persistence'. It is ISER who has proposed the analysis of the LS and will specify the output.

The census data include a relevant set of variables: age, gender, family structure, educational qualifications, ill-health (used as a proxy for disability), ethnic group and region, and employment which will be a primary (but not the sole) outcome measure. It spans three decades allowing for longitudinal (within individual) studies using information about individuals and households.