Rent Control in Ontario

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/12/2018 - 10:19am in

I’ve just published my new analysis of Ontario’s proposed rent controls and develop an evidence-based comprehensive alternative proposal at the CCPA’s “Behind the Numbers” blog.



Rent Control in Ontario

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/12/2018 - 10:19am in

I’ve just published my new analysis of Ontario’s proposed rent controls and develop an evidence-based comprehensive alternative proposal at the CCPA’s “Behind the Numbers” blog.



Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget

Over at the Behind The Numbers website, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget.” The blog post is a summary of a recent workshop organized by the Alberta Alternative Budget Working Group.

The link to the blog post is here.

Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget

Over at the Behind The Numbers website, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten considerations for the next Alberta budget.” The blog post is a summary of a recent workshop organized by the Alberta Alternative Budget Working Group.

The link to the blog post is here.

Tale Of Two Depressions

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 06/12/2018 - 3:00am in

Mainstream economists continue to discuss the two great crises of capitalism during the past century just like the pillars of society performed in the brothel—a “house of infinite mirrors and theaters”—in Jean Genet’s The Balcony.* The order they represent is indeed threatened by an uprising in the streets, and the only question is: can they reestablish the illusion of control? The latest version of the absurdist economic play opens with Brad DeLong, who dons the costume of the liberal mainstream economist and argues that, while the Great Depression of the 1930s was far deeper than the Great Recession (what I have long referred to as the Second Great Depression), the recovery from the crash of 2007-08 was so mishandled that it casts a shadow over the U.S. economy in a way the first Great Depression did not.

The changing nature of work calls for enhancing the human and financial capital of children in less wealthy families

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 1:00am in

The Canadian federal government should enhance the human and financial capital of children in less wealthy families, enhance market incomes of lower paid workers, and enhance the security of working incomes by adapting three existing programs to new realities: widening their scope, making them more flexible, and making them easier to obtain.

The changing world of work is also a changing world of pay, a world that will likely lean toward greater wage rate inequalities, lower or stagnating incomes for the bottom 40 percent, and greater income insecurity for the broad majority.

I suggest three changes to current public policies that take incremental, but important, steps toward fostering capital accumulation among children from less wealthy families, increasing market incomes earned from that capital for the working poor, and finally enhancing income security for the broad majority.

These policies lean toward encouraging inclusive growth, in which the benefits of the new world of work and pay are broadly shared.

In this post I discuss the first policy proposal, which is:

Enhance human and financial capital by making community colleges tuition-free, and making the Canada Learning Bond more flexible

It is often and repeatedly stressed that the changing nature of work requires a more highly skilled workforce, and continual retooling and reskilling over an individual’s working life. “Reskilling,” “second chances,” “life-long learning,” are all repeatedly used catch-words. The federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth went so far as to suggest that charting a “path to prosperity” requires making Canada a “Learning Nation.”

If this is the case, if enhanced and repeated skills development is essential to both national and individual prosperity, then public policy should recognize this necessity and remove all financial barriers to the development of core competencies.

Just as the move from an agrarian to an industrial economy was accompanied and promoted by free primary and secondary education, so now the move from an industrial to a service economy should be accompanied and promoted by free technical education. Removing financial considerations from this third tier of education recognizes the necessity of skills for prosperity, and the need to continually retool and reskill.

The Canadian federal government offers important financial incentives for parents to save for the higher education of their children, but those directed to lower-income families are not all that more generous and tend to suffer from low take-up rates.

The Registered Education Savings Plan is the linchpin of these programs, a savings account in which the returns are tax-free but which must be used for education spending.

This program has a life-time contribution limit of $50,000. It clearly offers a tax benefit to the relatively well-to-do, those who have the security of being able to save. However, the Canada Education Savings Grant adds a mildly progressive element, offering a grant of 20 percent on the first $2,500 of annual contributions regardless of family income, and an additional 10 to 20 percent to children from low and middle-income families to a lifetime limit of $7,200.

This limit amounts to somewhere between one and two years of tuition for some programs in some community colleges. The Canada Learning Bond enhances these benefits for low-income families by a maximum of $2,000: $500 for each child at birth, and $100 for each year until 15 years of age. The parents must have a Registered Education Savings Plan for the child, but need not make any contributions.

However, this money is left on the table by many, the take-up rate for the Canada Learning Bond, though growing, most recently amounting to only about one-third of eligible children, though there may be reason to question this figure.

Current government policy aims to give parents more information about approaching a financial institution in order to open an account, with some innovative policies being piloted by Budget 2018. The administrative hurdles to making this program automatic, simply opening an account on the parents’ behalf and contributing the funds in escrow, seem to be—so government officials tell me—too challenging.

Take up rates are low, in part because low-income, childbirth, and other worries are important stressors on parents … they simply have a lot of other things to worry about, and it is much easier to put off a decision about saving for a distant future.

Research has shown how we all, rich or poor, are subject to a limited “cognitive bandwidth,” and that those living in poverty are particularly prone to discounting future benefits. While policies intended to offer more information about how to apply for savings programs make sense, they are no substitute for automatic enrollment. Making community college free can be considered as amounting to auto-enrollment, removing the need to make a decision about benefits that will only be realized decades down the road.

This said, it may well be that some parents consider themselves to be making a “rational” decision from their point of view by not saving for their child’s post-secondary education. After all, there is an optimal level of schooling that varies between individuals. The design of the Canada Learning Bond does not recognize this, offering no flexibility on how the funds can be used.

The rate of return to education varies between people, but for everyone falls with more and more education. Being able to read and write and demonstrate basic numeracy will add a good deal more to your income than being able to do differential calculus and obtaining a PhD in economics. Somewhere in between these extremes the return to an extra year of schooling falls below the return to investing in financial or other physical assets, and should at that point stop. Beyond this point investments should be made in financial capital.

Perhaps parents, rightly or wrongly, sense this. But whether they do or not, their children as adults will be best placed to decide whether they should use what capital they have to further their education, or to invest in a new home, or use it for other things. The lack of flexibility in the use of the Canada Learning Bond lends a paternalistic aspect to the policy.

Remember, the federal government gives people with higher incomes a good deal more flexibility when subsidizing their savings, offering tax-based incentives not just for education, but also for a first home and retirement through Registered Retirement Savings Plans, or basically anything at all through Tax-Free Savings Accounts, which can be used by well-to-do parents to enhance the financial assets of their children.

The changing world of pay will lead to a changing world of wealth, and part of developing an inclusive society involves promoting the wealth of those from less-well-to-do families. Wealth should be understood to be based on both human and financial capital.

The Canada Learning Bond is an existing policy that can be more generous and more flexible to promote financial wealth in the manner that US Senator Cory Booker has suggested. His proposal for “opportunity accounts” embody the spirit of the Canada Learning Bond, but are more accessible in offering auto-enrollment, and more flexible in offering opportunities to invest in education or in a home or for retirement.


My arguments in this post expand a presentation called “The Changing Nature of Pay: Three Policy Proposals,” that I made to the Queen’s Institute on Social Policy at Queen’s University in August 2018.  The other proposals are the subject of future posts and include: enhancing in-work income support by growing the Canada Workers Benefit and integrating it with the Working While on Claim Provisions of Employment Insurance; and offering wage insurance by enhancing the Targeted Earnings Supplement and making it an accessible component of regular Employment Insurance benefits.

These proposals are hardly a complete public policy package for the changing world of pay, but they are feasible and can be quickly implemented since they build upon existing policies that either are not broad enough in scope or purpose, not carefully and seamlessly integrated with other policies, or are not appropriately targeted and delivered.

Download the presentation as a pdf, and watch it here:


I am grateful to officials at Employment and Social Development Canada who prepared a series of helpful background documents. You can load the document on the Canada Education Savings Grant and the Canada Learning Bond as a pdf.

What Does Inequality Cost The Average American? About $150K

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/12/2018 - 12:00am in

Belgian waffles. Belgian beers. Americans love ’em. But what Americans really need from Belgium has nothing to do with beer or breakfast treats. We need Belgium’s much more egalitarian distribution of wealth. The English philosopher Francis Bacon once long ago compared wealth to manure. Both only do good, Bacon quipped, if you spread them around. Belgium is spreading about as well as any nation on Earth, according to the Swiss bank Credit Suisse’s latest annual global wealth report. Why should Americans care about what’s happening in Belgium? The new Credit Suisse report at first doesn’t make that clear. On average, the Credit Suisse numbers show, Belgian adults hold less wealth than Americans.

A philosophical experiment about inequality

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 9:18pm in

Crossposted by co-writer Tim Meijers at Justice Everywhere

Political philosophers often engage in thought experiments, which involve putting hypothetical persons in hypothetical scenarios. However, it is often challenging to find ways to involve real, non-hypothetical, people with the questions we are dealing with, aside from the more traditional ways to engage in outreach such as debates and opinion pieces. Recently, the Fair Limits team* – which studies the plausibility of upper limits in the distribution of economic and ecological resources – attempted a new way to engage the public by making use of a participatory “veil-of-ignorance” thought experiment.

On the evening of Friday the 5th of October, the Fair Limits team contributed to the Betweter festival in TivoliVredenburgh (Utrecht, the Netherlands), which was attended by over 2000 people and celebrates science and the arts. Between concerts, lectures, and discussion sessions people could participate in several experiments.

In addition to a broader lecture that I gave (available online for those of you who understand Dutch) the fair limits project also conducted an experiment at the Betweter Festival. We asked people to imagine that they had responsibility for the wellbeing of a child. However, they didn’t know anything about the specific child: nothing about the child’s health, or its intelligence, or talents. Moreover, they had to imagine they were not taking care of the child themselves, and that they had no control over the kind of family the child would grow up in. However, they had one important decision to make: Which world will the child be born into?

After this initial briefing, people were ushered into a closed off space, where they saw visual artistic representations, made by the artist Niels Sinke, of three different worlds, each governed by a very different distributive principle: an equal world, an unequal world and a world ‘in-between’.

In the equal world, people have roughly equal economic resources, healthcare is mainly preventive and income is guaranteed. Schools and universities are state funded and of roughly equal quality, with neither extremely bad nor extremely good ones.

In the unequal world, there is extreme poverty as well as great wealth. Access to healthcare depends on your ability to buy health-insurance, if you have the means many diseases are treatable but if you do not you are dependent on charity. There are fantastic universities, hospitals and museums, but these are only accessible to those from wealthier groups.

The ‘in-between’ world has limited inequality, and healthcare is a mix of preventive and curative care. For rarer diseases people need more expensive insurance, not available to all, but the basics are covered. There is assurance against loss of income due to illness for a limited amount of time. Schools and Universities are partially state funded and of decent quality, and there are market-based elite schools for those who can afford it.

Based on these art works, and on brief written descriptions of what life is like in these different worlds, people had to make a decision: Which world would they want the child to live?

After they settled on a decision, participants had to report to “Fortuna” where they had to roll a dice and, based on the result, were given one of six cards on the table. On the card, the participants found a characterization of various facts about the child and description of how that child would fare in the different worlds. The participants read the result for their child in the world they chose out loud.
The possibilities were wide ranging, but we focused on health, intelligence, and marketable talents, as well the family and social environment the child was born into. A talented child born into a very poor family in the unequal world would not be able to develop these talents, whereas a less talented child born into a well-connected family would do well. Whether a sick child could be treated, depended on the illness, the kind of insurance, and the level of technology available in the various worlds.

Over three hundred people participated in the experiment, and 261 participants casted a vote for their favored world. Most people went for the ‘in-between’ world (136) which, of course, resembles the Netherlands (although perhaps not our world!) most closely. The equal world came in second (69), and the unequal world appealed the least (47).

After learning about the impact of their choice on the child whose wellbeing they were entrusted with, the participants were ‘debriefed’ at the exit. Why did they choose the world they chose? Are the happy with the result? Would they choose otherwise now? And, do you think the world is fair or did you just get lucky?
People offered a wide variety of reasons for their choices. Some appealed to freedom and equalities, and the way these values were embodied in the different worlds. Others justified their choices by an appeal to human psychology or tendencies that worked out differently across the worlds. Is there an incentive to be productive in the equal world? If not, would that mean everybody is better off in the ‘in-between’ world? The experiment also forced people to consider the value of public provision of goods like education and healthcare. How important is it that everybody has access? Should we aim for the highest possible quality, even if that means excluding some?

We quickly learned one weakness of our set-up. Initially, we asked people to imagine they were going to have a child. The idea was, of course, that people would feel more attached and responsible for the child and, closer to the spirit of the veil of ignorance, less willing to take on some risks that they might if they assumed they were choosing for themselves. Perhaps somewhat naively we hadn’t thought of downsides. We very quickly found out that this hit a bit too closely too home for some people. What about people who had lost a child, had wanted one and never had one, or young couples facing challenges conceiving? One of the first potential participants walked away visibly upset after we explained the idea to her, another potential participant declined, telling us that he and his partner were trying to conceive and considered the experiment potentially upsetting. Although the new formulation did visibly touch some people, probably inevitably, no other participants declined to participate.

The experiment clearly made participants think. Many started to have doubts after the roll of the dice about their choice. People stuck around for a good discussion afterwards, and several groups of friends and couples continued to discuss what the right choice was well after the de-briefing. Some people even came back later on the evening to discuss an idea they had after leaving. The set up turned out to be a great way to get people to think about what kind of society we should aim for.

Mission Accomplished!

*The Fair Limits team consists of Colin Hickey, Petra van der Kooij, Dick Timmer, Bart Mijland, Tim Meijers and myself. We also had help from three stellar student-volunteers.

Fixing The Crisis Of ‘Runaway Wealth’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 29/11/2018 - 1:00am in


inequality, wealth

The next Congress faces a stunning array of challenges — on health care, gun policy, climate change, you name it. One crucial challenge starved of attention, however, is what I call runaway inter-generational wealth. That’s where the wealth of a country’s richest families snowballs from one generation to the next, unconstrained by living expenses or taxes, causing an ever-increasing share of national wealth to concentrate at the top. America has experienced this problem for decades now, and last year’s tax act is certain to make it worse. For the first time since the estate tax was enacted a century ago, rich American couples can pass $22 million to their children entirely free of federal taxes.

Book Review: Stepping into the Elite: Trajectories of Social Achievement in India, France and the United States by Jules Naudet

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 27/11/2018 - 12:29am in

In Stepping into the Elite: Trajectories of Social Achievement in India, France and the United States, Jules Naudet draws on interviews with individuals in these three nations to explore the experience of upward mobility as implying an unavoidable tension between the class of origin and the class of destination. Malik Fercovic welcomes the book’s narrative and comparative approach as a valuable contribution to the field that should serve as a benchmark for future scholarly debate. 

Stepping into the Elite: Trajectories of Social Achievement in India, France and the United States. Jules Naudet (trans. by Renuka George). Oxford University Press. 2018.

Find this book: amazon-logo

Over the past decades, there has been a continual flow of research on social mobility. For most of this time, under the leading influence of British sociologist John Goldthorpe, the study of social mobility has adopted a distinctive quantitative and comparative approach. Focusing on occupation as the key variable to define social class and using representative national surveys, Goldthorpe-inspired work has proved highly effective not only in Britain but internationally as well, tracking intergenerational mobility patterns across the world. In more recent years, however, an alternative approach has challenged Goldthorpe’s dominance. Largely influenced by French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this literature has brought to the fore the cultural forms of contemporary class division. Using Bourdieu’s conceptual triad – capitals, habitus and fields – this perspective has addressed social class and mobility as a process rather than a variable. Though frequently lacking a comparative approach, the main focus of this literature concerns the persistence of inequality across generations, with especial attention to the role of cultural capital in this process.

In dialogue with these two streams of scholarship, Jules Naudet’s Stepping into the Elite: Trajectories of Social Achievement in India, France and the United States opens new vistas for the debate on class and mobility. Based on extensive qualitative research, Naudet analyses the experience of upward mobility in three nations with different social stratification patterns: a closed society sustained by a caste system (India); a society still marked by the weight of class and status inherited from the aristocratic Ancien Régime (France); and a supposedly open society based on merit and individual capacity alone (US). Naudet’s focus is on how the available cultural frames in these different nations shape the way upwardly mobile individuals reaching high-status occupations make sense of their dislocated positions in the social space. Naudet’s book thus preserves the comparative perspective associated with Goldthorpe, but also expands our understanding of how culture moulds the experience of social mobility beyond Bourdieu’s key notion of cultural capital. In so doing, Naudet has added an original contribution to the literature addressing the comparative study of social inequality and mobility.

Stepping into the Elite’s theoretical starting point is to consider the experience of upward mobility as implying an unavoidable tension between the class of origin and the class of destination. This tension is shaped by both ‘sociological’ – entailing a double or contradictory socialisation – and ‘moral’ – concerning people’s allegiances and engagements – characteristics. According to Naudet, this twofold tension goes hand-in-hand with the need to reduce the conflict between highly dissimilar social milieus. Exposed by their upward trajectories to the choice between loyalty to the group of origin and the legitimacy of their new social positions, upwardly mobile individuals are confronted with the challenge of building a consistent narrative of their self and place in the social space. It is the narrative of this experience that is at the centre of Naudet’s approach, as well as his hopes to reconcile the opposing findings in the existing literature studying the effects of mobility on individuals.

Image Credit: Heartland installation, Karen Casey, Docklands, Melbourne (rubixcom CC BY 2.0)

To address this question, in addition to the philosophical writings of Paul Ricoeur on narrative identity, Naudet draws on three complementary perspectives. Naudet’s approach adopts the ‘sociology of critical capacity’ advanced by Luc Boltanski as the best way to acknowledge that upwardly mobile people are competent, if limited, interpreters of themselves and their dislocated position in the social space. Naudet’s comparative approach also builds from Michèlle Lamont’s notion of cultural repertoires (e.g. shared narratives, ideologies or myths) as available resources shaping upwardly mobile people’s identities. Finally, influenced by Clifford Geertz and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Naudet coins the concept of ‘instituted ideology’ to account for both national and sub-national analytical levels. This term refers to the ‘degree of congruence of ideologies’ within each country’s key institutions, such as the family, schools, universities and work, and how this facilitates or hinders the experience of mobility.

Stepping into the Elite is based on 160 interviews conducted among upwardly mobile people reaching prestigious occupations in the senior civil service, the private sector and academia. Naudet recruited respondents through alumni networks of Higher Education institutions and the diffusion emails among professional associations. To ensure respondents have a steep upward mobility trajectory, Naudet had to target people whose class of origin is characterised by being highly distant from their class of destination. For Naudet, this meant comparatively engaging with key concepts such as class, caste and race, both within and across the societies under study. In India, for instance, the working classes are not equivalent to the lower castes; in the US, racial origins weigh more heavily than class origins; in France, classes populaires are not the same as the working classes in Anglo-Saxon societies. Naudet does acknowledge the limitations of all this for his definition of the class of origin and recommends caution in the interpretation of his findings. Curiously enough, however, Naudet avoids any sustained comparative discussion of the classes of destination, the key notion of ‘the elite’ and how they are understood differently in the three societies under study. This is a highly surprising void, because it is very likely that the specific nature of the elites varies considerably across national contexts.

Still, Stepping into the Elite reveals stimulating empirical findings. In India, social mobility is experienced through the inescapable influence of the caste system. Portrayed as a ‘succeeding without betraying’, the narratives of respondents emphasised a strong social and moral pressure, insisting on the ‘debt’ that upwardly mobile individuals have to their group of origin. This is especially true in the case of the Dalits. Upwardly mobile Dalits not only provide constant financial aid and support institutions for the promotion of people from the same lower caste. They also perceive themselves as the representatives, in the advanced positions of Indian society, of a ‘community in struggle’ – a vision embedded in the political process of vindication of the Dalits led by Ambedkar. All this shapes the experience of mobility as a collective rather than individual undertaking: upwardly mobile Dalits have at their disposal potent cultural resources to make sense of their upward trajectories while keeping a strong solidarity with their community of origin.

In the United States, upward mobility is lived as a ‘unquestioned success’. The narratives of upwardly mobile individuals emphasise a persistent anchoring of the ‘American dream’ across generations. This is based on the taken-for-granted beneficial role of social competition, the belief in the permeability of class boundaries and the reward of asceticism or loyalty to family values as a durable way to stay ‘grounded’ or ‘rooted’. If upwardly mobile Americans have been successful in their career pathways, this does not imply that their sense of identity has become substantially different: they embody the same values​ that govern, according to them, the culture shaping both the group origin and destination. The distance between the two social environments gives the impression of being reconcilable without major difficulties. Nevertheless, these experiences are not uniform, and African American interviewees, for instance, are more distant from the prevailing narrative. Indeed, among this group, upward social mobility is perceived as more fragile, with a racial stigma negatively influencing their chances of success. According to Naudet, this makes African Americans more sceptical of a vision of society in which the weight of social class still deeply shapes people’s life chances.

In France, on the contrary, access to the elite is experienced as a vigorous discontinuity with the group of origin by upwardly mobile people. Characterised as ‘a mobility haunted by class’, the class of origin and destination are presented in sharply antagonistic terms. Indeed, as their social advancement develops, respondents perceive they have moved to a different social class based on very different cultural and ideological referents. A deep, and often painful, transformation of the self is thus necessary for upwardly mobile individuals, frequently leading to a break with the class of origin. Naudet’s findings confirm the weight of different educational institutions in access to the elite as being particularly pivotal in the French case. Here the relevant contrast lies between the less prestigious opportunities open at universities and the elitist Grandes Écoles, particularly the École Nationale d’Administration and Sciences Po – the latter making greater the gap between the class of origin and destination. And yet there are important differences in the way upward mobility is lived, depending on the interviewees’ connection to the ‘republican ideology’ – combining the principle of equal opportunity with state intervention to diminish inequality – among older generations of civil servants or the specific experience of individuals from the former French colonies.

Stepping into the Elite thus persuasively shows that culture matters in the analysis of the experience of upward mobility. Going beyond an exclusive focus on cultural capital associated with Bourdieusian perspectives, Naudet’s narrative and comparative approach enriches our understanding of how culture moulds the identities of upwardly mobile people. Cultural repertoires are crucial in this respect. Available cultural frames such as national ‘ideologies’ like the American Dream –  rooted in the social and political history of each country – play a key part in these repertoires, since they form a strong shared basis from which individuals build a coherent life narrative and one’s distinctive place in the social world. But upwardly mobile people’s identities are also influenced by sub-national repertoires such as those of the Dalits in India, shaping particular socialisations, the specific social milieus they face and the modalities of admission to the elite. Here the concept of ‘instituted ideology’ is helpful and leads us to think differently about the experience of upward mobility depending on the influence of different cultural, political and social institutional contexts on individual trajectories. In showing this, Naudet marshals compelling and emotional interview material – which testifies to his skill in establishing rapport with his respondents – as well as a fairly balanced account of individual experiences and collective frameworks. All this deserves high praise.

And yet even good books leave unanswered some important issues they themselves raise. In methodological terms, conspicuously absent in Stepping into the Elite is a reflection on the strengths and limitations of interviewing. All data-collecting techniques tend to encourage or obstruct certain forms of discourse or interactions. Interviews are no exception. Interviews provide a weaker basis to explain institutional patterns and depend on individual perspectives to account for collective meanings or behaviour as well as bias to create consistency in narratives and worldviews. All these aspects are relevant for Naudet’s perspective, though the latter seems less significant as his main interest is to understand how upwardly mobile individuals make sense of their trajectories in discursive terms. But these methodological considerations are connected to a larger theoretical point as well. At the outset, Naudet claims that his narrative approach is at least partially able to reconcile the opposing findings in the existing literature studying the effects of mobility on individuals. This claim, however, is not necessarily confirmed by his study. Naudet’s approach risks suggesting that available cultural repertoires and upwardly mobile people’s narratives are the main elements that can account for the experience of mobility and the processes of inclusion/exclusion at the upper echelons of society.

Although Stepping into the Elite is in my view somewhat limited by these unacknowledged questions, such reflections do not diminish the challenging and innovative character of this comparative research. Naudet’s book is one of the most interesting contributions to the topic for quite some time, and should serve as a benchmark for future scholarly debate in the years to come.

Malik Fercovic is a MPhil/PhD student in the LSE Department of Sociology. He is also part of the Leverhulme Programme (2016/2017 cohort) at the LSE International Inequalities Institute and the NYLON project. His research investigates the experience of upward social mobility in contemporary Chilean society. Malik holds a MSc in Governance of Risks and Resources from Heidelberg University, and a BA in Sociology from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Malik’s wider academic interests are in interdisciplinary approaches to social mobility and inequality and cultural sociology.

Note: This review gives the views of the author, and not the position of the LSE Review of Books blog, or of the London School of Economics.