REV-INEQUAL-03-2016 Dynamics of inequalities across the life-course

Official publication



What is the call about?

Specific Challenge:

Existing and rising inequalities pose fundamental challenges to European societies and economies. The sources of inequalities in contemporary societies are complex and highly intertwined. A key concern and indeed challenge is the increasing gulf between rich and poor exacerbated by the financial and economic crises and ensuing high unemployment rates, especially among the young and marginalised groups. The action should address the underlying mechanisms behind existing inequalities in general and the development of inequalities across the life-course in particular. In this context, time is a significant and often neglected key resource. The evolution of disposable time over the life-course can be an important indicator of intergenerational inequalities and raises questions of intergenerational justice and solidarity. A new understanding of the complex dynamics of inequalities across life-courses and between generations as well as their relationships with social cohesion in a contemporary historical perspective is therefore needed. The specific challenge of this call is to address these dynamics comparatively in their social, cultural, economic and political dimensions.


Activities under this topic should contribute to exploring the underlying dynamics, structures processes and measurement of inequality across life-courses and contribute to better understanding some of the most pressing problems of present-day society related to inequality and social cohesion. They aim to engage, bring together and broaden the research community including in Southern and Central and Eastern Europe, and facilitate capacity-building for research into inequalities and life-courses on a comparative, multi-disciplinary and cross-national basis which has to take account of the variety of situations, including in Southern and Centrals and Eastern Europe. The participation of disciplines such as sociology, education, law, demography, population health, political science, economics, history, anthropology and psychology is anticipated and encouraged.

Building on and taking stock of existing data, research should compare the life-courses of different generations in Europe and also set them into relation to disposable time and income. Comparisons should be made between time-use patterns of various generations, whereby special attention should be paid to the elderly, gender differences and of rural and urban populations in Europe, in order to investigate the conditioning factors of disposable time at various stages of the life-course at both the individual and structural level.

Research should examine how crucial points in the life-course of individuals and crucial demographic events can precipitate or mitigate the risk of poverty and social exclusion. It should disentangle the impact of past events and current circumstances on later outcomes. Research could also address issues such as intergenerational justice. It may be opportune to employ demographic modelling. Research should provide the evidence base for effectively planning time in the working environment, but also insights on how relevant policies, such as pension, employment including extended working life, social, housing or education policies, can provide the frameworks in which men and women feel that they can use their life time in a manner they experience as healthy, comfortable and fair. Research should make recommendations regarding possible harmonization of European data sources available to study inequalities.

Which funding is foreseen?

Proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 5 million.



The above information is based on a subjective assessment. The authoritative source of information concerning the call is available on the Participant portal. The authoritative source of information on the rules and procedures for submitting a proposal is the Participant portal.