Inequality in the 21st Century

Inequality in the 21st Century

The London School of Economics & Political Science
London - UK
July 2-4, 2015

SER Best Paper Prizes

2012 SER Best Paper Prize

We are delighted to announce that Hasan Kirmangolu and Cem Baslevent (Department of Economics, Istanbul Bilgi University) have won the SER Best Article Prize for the best submitted article published in the previous year: "Using Basic Personal Values to Test Theories of Union Memberships" (SER vol. 10, no. 4), which can be read online here. The annual Socio Economic Review prize recognizes the best article of the year and comes with a $1,000 award.


Using data from the fourth round of the European Social Survey, we investigate the determinants of the individual union membership decision, focusing on the role of dispositional—as opposed to situational—factors. We argue that the battery of items in Schwartz's (1992) theory of basic personal values is relevant in the context of unionism and can be used to test the validity of certain elements of existing theories. We further claim that the use of basic values in this context is an effective way of operationalizing the role of societal interests embedded in the rational choice explanations for union membership. The econometric work—which features a three-way outcome variable identifying current, former and never-members—reveals that, along with socio-demographic, ideological, firm-level and sectoral characteristics, basic values are closely related to union membership status. While higher self-transcendence and conservation scores are associated with a greater likelihood of being a current member, higher openness-to-change and self-enhancement scores have the opposite effect.


2011 SER Best Paper Prize

We are delighted to announce that Pil Ho Kim has won the fourth annual prize for the best submitted article published in the previous year: "The East Asian Welfare State Debate and Surrogate Social Policy: An Exploratory Study on Japan and South Korea" (SER vol. 8, no.3). Pil will be honored at the awards ceremony on Friday evening.


The welfare states in East Asia have been widely considered underdeveloped. Since the definition and measurements of social policy and the welfare state are subject to change depending on the specific historical, political and economic context, the welfare underdevelopment thesis deserves scrutiny. In Japan, Korea and Taiwan, agricultural protection and enterprise welfare, among others, have been surrogates of conventional welfare policies. As a way of critically engaging in the debate over the East Asian welfare model, this paper focuses on these two areas of surrogate social policy and explores their empirical basis with the OECD data on Japan and Korea. The result shows that surrogate social policy measures such as producer support estimates for agricultural protection and mandatory private social spending for enterprise welfare add up to make a difference between the East Asian countries and the other OECD members. This suggests a distinct political-economic model for East Asian social welfare.

About Socio-Economic Review

Socio-Economic Review (SER) is the official journal of SASE. It is part of a broader movement in the social sciences that returns to the economy's socio-political foundations. Devoted to advancing socio-economics, SER deals with the analytical, political and moral questions arising at the intersection of economy and society. Articles in SER explore how the economy is or should be governed by social relations, institutional rules, political decisions, and cultural values. SER considers the different ways in which the economy affects society, such as by breaking up old institutional forms and giving rise to new ones. The scope of the journal is deliberately broad, and thus opens the debate to new variations on its general theme. Its editorial structure allows editors to engage intellectually with authors and their submissions.

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