Publications and Outputs

UI submission of evidence to the UK Parliament COVID Committee


The Understanding Inequalities project has submitted evidence to the UK Parliament COVID Committee in response to their national inquiry into life beyond COVID, which asks for views on the long-term implications of the pandemic for our society – for example what it might mean for (in)equality.

Our evidence submission highlights twelve areas of inequality that are likely to be impacted substantially by the pandemic based on highly rigorous research evidence:

Police use of Fixed Penalty Notices under the Covid-19 regulations in Scotland: A new data report highlights links with deprivation and inequality

Susan McVie

A data report presented to the Scottish Policy Authority (SPA) today shows that almost a third of all Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued to people living in the top 10% most deprived communities of Scotland.  Moreover, FPNs were twelve times more likely to be issued to people living in the 10% most deprived parts of Scotland compared to those living in the 10% least deprived areas.

Social Mobility Commission report cites research by UI project team


Research by UI Co-Director Cristina Iannelli and Research Fellow Dr Adriana Duta has been cited in the latest Social Mobility Commission reports: Moving out to move on published 23 July 2020 and the 2019 report State of the Nation 2018-19: Social Mobility in Great Britain.

The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for policy in relation to children and young people: a research review

Emer Smyth

A research review, co-authored by UI Co-Director Professor Emer Smyth and fellow collaborators at the ESRI, finds that action is needed to address the short and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 response on children and young people.

The report draws on existing and emerging Irish and international research on the effects of the pandemic restrictions on children and young people. In particular, the report reviews research evidence in the areas of family and peer relationships, health and wellbeing, education (from early childhood to third-level) and post-school transitions to provide insights into the potential consequences of the current crisis from infancy to early adulthood.

Police use of the new Covid-19 powers: Using administrative data to analyse and evaluate practice


A data report scrutinising Police Scotland’s use of the new temporary powers introduced to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic shows that less than seven percent of all interventions involved the use of enforcement, such as a fine or an arrest.

UI submission of evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility


The Understanding Inequalities project has submitted evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Social Mobility in response to their national inquiry into housing and employment, which is aimed at tackling the employment and earnings gap in social housing.

Our evidence submission focused on answering the following research questions posed by the group:

  • What is the relationship between social housing and employment? and
  • What can Government do to support the social housing sector and tenants, and to reduce the social
    housing employment and earnings gap?

Read the full submission below.

Documentary: Addressing Spatial Inequality in the 21st Century


Last year we hosted an international symposium on The Dynamics of Spatial Inequality in Sheffield.  This event brought together US and UK-based speakers and delegates from a variety of policy, practitioner and academic disciplines to share perspectives on whether and how spatial inequalities matter and the implications for policy innovation. 

As part of this event, we filmed a short documentary featuring interviews with our international speakers. We asked them about the implications of spatial inequalities for life outcomes, across health, housing and the labour market, and we asked what they thought a new vision for spatial policy in the 21st Century might look like. This film also features an interview with Lord Blunkett, former UK Home Secretary. 

You can also view a selection of short clips from the film including: 

Summary report: Driving forward data-informed approaches to policing

Susan McVie

In October 2019, Understanding Inequalities held a joint event with the Scottish Centre for Administrative Data Research (SCADR) and Police Scotland to discuss data-informed approaches to policing, looking at the use of police data to assess demand, inform deployment and address priorities.

We have produced a short summary report which draws together themes from the presentations and facilitated discussion. These themes included the data priorities for policing in Scotland, the various different data sources that are currently being used to inform policing, the challenges associated with accessing and linking types of data, while the report also highlights the potential solutions and ways of working across organisations to mitigate some of these challenges. 

Read the report in full here. 

Breifing paper: Living with a lone mother in Scotland. Do children fare better if their mothers are in work?

Francesca Fiori
In this Understanding Inequalities briefing paper, Dr Francesca Fiori sets out findings from her research, which uses the Growing Up in Scotland survey data to explore the effect of maternal employment on the socio-emotional wellbeing of children living with a lone mother.
Read the briefing in full here:


Journal article: Estimating the local employment impacts of immigration: A dynamic spatial panel model

Fingleton, B; Olner, D; Pryce G

This paper highlights a number of important gaps in the UK evidence base on the employment impacts of immigration, namely: (1) the lack of research on the local impacts of immigration – existing studies only estimate the impact for the country as a whole; (2) the absence of long-term estimates – research has focused on relatively short time spans – there are no estimates of the impact over several decades, for example; (3) the tendency to ignore spatial dependence of employment which can bias the results and distort inference – there are no robust spatial econometric estimates we are aware of.