SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MML125533
Module Leader Sara Cantillon
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Standard Programme Entry Requirements

Summary of Content

This module examines the nature of economic inequality at a conceptual, theoretical and empirical level and provides an overview of the current state of international research on economic and social inequality and details the extent of economic inequalities in both a local and global context. It provides an overview of the analytical methods used in economics for the study of economic inequalities and examines the role of the state in the amelioration and/or perpetuation of these, both in principle and in practice. From both orthodox and heterodox perspectives it reviews key concepts within the discipline and traces the development of different schools of thought assessing the impact of the dominance of neo-classical economics and the emergence of feminist economics. Specifically, it considers topics such as the welfare state, public and social policy, care, poverty and income inequality, gender and alternative economic systems.


Introduction: Concepts, Definitions and Philosophical Approaches to Justice The Welfare State Measuring Economic Progress and Well Being The Extent of Economic and Social Inequality Conceptualisation, Definition and Measurement of Poverty Intrahousehold Inequalities: Distribution and Consumption The Commodification of Care Conceptualisation and Measurement of Wealth and Income

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to: 1. Demonstrate theoretical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of economic and social policy and a familiarity with a range of policy issues and relevant analytical tools.2. Discuss current debates and key issues in economics of inequality and social policy.3. Make some judgments about economic policy and its position in public policy and its impact on the wider economy.4. Reflect on wider economic and social issues and the limits of public policy in that regard.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and class exercises. The lectures will follow a traditional format with the main input provided by the lecturer whereas in the seminar input will be provided each week by two/three students on selected readings which will form the basis for facilitated discussion. Active class participation is a key aspect of this module and is a component of the overall assessment. 10% of the overall grade is given for attendance and participation. This teaching/learning strategy will be supported via GCU Learn which will be used to encourage further reading and to introduce students to on-line resources. The on line chat facilities as well as the class based seminars will be used for on-going formative feedback throughout the module to ensure student engagement and understanding of the topic areas.

Indicative Reading

Thomas Piketty, 2014, Capital in the Twenty First Century , Harvard University Press A.B. Atkinson, 2015, Inequality , Oxford University Press. P Spicker, 2013, Principles of Social Welfare , Routledge N Barr, 2012, The Economics of the Welfare State , 5 th Ed, OUP R Wilkinson and K Pickett, 2010, The Spirit Level - Why Equality is better for Everyone , Penguin Stephanie Moller and Joya Misra 2014, Inequality: Handbook of U.S. Social Policy Oxford University Press W Salverda, B Nolan and T Smeeding, 2009, Handbook of Economic Inequality , Oxford University Press Gosta Epsing-Anderson, 2010, The Incomplete Revolution, Polity Press Walby, S., 2009, Globalization and Inequalities - Complexity and Contested Modernernities, Sage Daniel Dorling, 2010, Injustice - why social inequality persists, Policy Press

Transferrable Skills

Generic Skills -360b7 Ability to effectively articulate and communicate knowledge learnt. b7 Ability to apply theoretical knowledge to the analysis and resolution of real world problems. b7 Ability to evaluate, assimilate and interpret economic data. Employability Skills -360b7 Ability to analyse and evaluate the theoretical and empirical aspects of research. b7 Ability to work independently and as part of a team b7 Professional and personal communication skills geared towards problem-solving. Digital Capabilities -360b7 Ability to source and analyse economic data and policy evaluations

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 74.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 45% Seminar Paper (2,000 words)
Exam 01 2.00 50.00 45% Unseen Exam