Ingvild Almås awarded ERC Consolidator Grant for research on global inequality

To understand and reduce economic inequalities, both locally and globally, we need to acknowledge inequalities within households. Yet, in most empirical studies, such inequalities are disregarded mainly because we lack appropriate measurement tools and data.

Ingvild Almås

Not only is this problematic for inequality measurement, this lack of understanding also hampers the design of cost-effective poverty reduction and child development policies, says Ingvild.

The ERC Consolidator Grant is one of the most prestigious grants for individual researchers from the European Research Council (ERC). It is awarded to researchers who have come a long way in their careers to help them consolidate their research groups and pursue groundbreaking research.

The grant will help researchers get a better and more correct understanding of global inequalities. The 5-year project has five general objectives;

1.    Updating the facts about local and global inequalities through direct measurement of within-household consumption allocation.
2.    Developing and validating new measures of parental allocation preferences to study whether mothers prefer to spend more on their children than fathers do.
3.    Developing and validating new measures of household-decision making to investigate whether targeted cash transfers shape female empowerment.
4.    Finding out whether cash transfers or an education parenting program is the most cost-effective for child development.
5.    Testing structural model assumptions and refining our understanding of the mechanisms behind inequalities and child development.

The hope is that these insights will be of large importance when designing policies to reduce within-household inequalities and improve child development and gender inequality, says Ingvild.

This ambitious project will implement a survey across 10 substantially different countries, with a sample size of 1000 participants with children between 0-3 years of age in each country except for India where the aim is to have 2000 respondents. As part of the project a randomized control trial in Tanzania will also take place, using top modern infrastructure provided by a different research program called Kizazi Kijacho (the next generation in Swahili) which includes a nationally representative longitudinal study of 3240 pregnant women and their families as well as an app-based parenting program in the Tabora region, targeting pregnant women at the baseline. Lab-in-the-field-experiments will also be conducted in Chile, India and Tanzania, with 900 participants in each country.

Click here to read more about the grant on the ERC web.

Click here to read more about Ingvild and her research.