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Corona – leveller or amplifier of social and economic inequality? 

Workshop format

The seminar series will be organized virtually. Each session will be streamed via Zoom.

Date & Registration

The seminars will usually take place during May and December 2021 on Monday or Wednesday (12 - 1 pm CET).

Registration for each session starts in April 2021: XING-Events: Interdisciplinary Lunch Time Seminar Series on “Corona – Leveller or Amplifier of Social and Economic Inequality?”


Is corona the great leveller? Rich or poor, everyone can get sick from the virus. The measures to deal with the pandemic affect everyone equally: We all wear masks and the lockdown banishes us all to our homes. Or is corona an amplifier of existing and a cause for new inequalities? Important social and economic resources for coping with burdens, economic risks and availability of support by the welfare state are unequally distributed.

At the same time, new and old social divides are breaking open: Parents, especially working parents, face a particular burden in view of the closures of schools and childcare facilities and must often take over the schooling and care of children themselves. Also, people in large cities might be more affected by the crisis than people outside metropolitan areas. But the crisis also contributes to inequalities directly in the labor market: Many of the workers affected by the closures are found in the food service and personal services industries. But those particularly affected also include already disadvantaged groups such as temporary and marginal workers, who are more often in danger of losing their jobs and have less access to social protection. Low-income earners and people living in poverty may suffer particularly from the restrictions, as they have significantly fewer resources to cope with stress or deal with new challenges like home schooling. They may even be hit more often directly by the virus if they have to economize on personal protective measures. Similarly, self-employed face also specific challenges as they have often limited funding and assistance programs were not tailored to this group. At the same time, international comparisons reveal differences – not only are countries affected by the pandemic to varying degrees, but the economic and social consequences are also uneven. This raises the question of the role of social security systems and the labor market and economic policy responses.

Shortly after the pandemic, many researchers turned their attention to such and similar questions, and initial results were available in a short time. After a year of research, however, it is also clear that the observed effects of the crisis are not always uniform, but can differ significantly by the dimensions of inequality under study, by country, and also among different groups of people. In addition, aspects of data collection or measurement and the resulting possibilities for analysis are also likely to play a role. Against this background, this seminar series aims to bring together empirically rigorous contributions from the fields of sociology, economics and related fields on issues of social policy, social ad economic inequality following the Corona Crisis.

OECD Webinar Series on COVID-19 and Inequality

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also host a highly interesting seminar series on similar topics which is organised by the OECD Centre for Well-Being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE), in collaboration with the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS). Don’t miss their program:

Selected presentations of the IAB Seminar “Corona – leveler or amplifier of social and economic inequality?” will be organized as joint sessions between the OECD Webinar Series and the IAB.

Further informationen and program

XING-Events: Interdisciplinary Lunch Time Seminar Series on “Corona – Leveller or Amplifier of Social and Economic Inequality?”

Call for Papers

We welcome empirical submissions on:

  • Socio-economic impact of the corona crisis in general
  • Old and new inequalities in the wake of the crisis
  • Short vs. long run effects of the crisis
  • Crisis-related gender inequalities and their intersections with household composition, socio-economic status and migration background
  • Particularly affected groups with regard to non-standard work, unemployment, health or socio-demographic characteristics
  • Different social and economic domains (e.g. labor market, education, benefit receipt, family)
  • Evaluations of policies which aim at crisis-related inequalities
  • Role of the welfare system
  • Country studies and international comparisons


Please contact us at

Organizing Committee

Technical Advices

For a smooth participation in the seminars we recommend:

  • a current browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge Chromium)
  • use of a headset or microphone optional use of a camera

When opening the invitation links to the seminars, you can decide whether you want to participate via the Zoom client or via the browser. Installing the Zoom client and dialing into an event via the "Zoom Client" offers more Options.