Research projects

Inequality in Iceland: Comparisons over Time and Contexts

Principal Investigator with Jón Gunnar Bernburg, University of Iceland

Inequality in Iceland: Principal investigators. Photo ©Kristinn Ingvarsson

Research Team: Agnar Freyr Helgason, University of Iceland; Berglind Rós Magnúsdóttir, University of Iceland; Christof Wolf, GESIS and University of Mannheim; Guðbjörg Andrea Jónsdóttir, University of Iceland; Guðmundur Ævar Oddsson, University of Akureyri; Jason Beckfield, Harvard University and Patrick Sachweh, Goethe University, Frankfurt.

Funded 2019-2022 by Rannís (the Icelandic Centre for Research).

Inequality represents a major threat to individuals and societies around the world, impacting well-being and the social order. Our team includes leading inequality scholars from Iceland, the U.S., and Germany. We will field the 2019 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) module on inequality, that will be fielded in approximately 45 other nations. Also, we will field the second wave of the Icelandic Social Survey (ISS) which included more nuanced questions about inequality and outcomes of key concern. This survey will allow three kinds of comparisons: 1) across 45 nations in 2019; 2) between 2009 and 2019 in Iceland, where we have more detailed measures of outcomes; and 3) between 2009 and 2019 in strategically selected countries. We will organize the work around three broad themes of: 1) perception of inequality; 2) social comparison; and 3) opportunities and mobility. We capitalize on the unique social conditions in Iceland since the economic collapse of 2008. Specifically, no other country has experienced such a rapid increase in income inequality as Iceland did prior to the collapse, followed by a drastic decrease afterwards, in addition to political unrest. The combination of the data, the case and our expertise builds the foundation for research that can significantly improve our understanding of the sources, experiences, and outcomes of inequality across societies and over-time.

Along with Guðbjörg Andrea Jónsdóttir, I am the leader of Iceland´s participation in several international surveys.

European Social Survey:

European Values Study:

International Social Survey Programme:

I am also a part of the research team studying stigma in global contexts: