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Labour Law, Wealth & Inequality

Labour Law, Wealth & Inequality


Raeburn Room,

Old College


Fri 9 February 2024

‘Law, Wealth and Inequality’ is an interdisciplinary research project based at Edinburgh Law School which explores the relationship between ‘law’, ‘wealth’ and ‘inequality’, both from a comparative and a historical perspective.

Wealth inequality is a global issue of increasing economic and social importance, there being a growing awareness that the gap between the wealthy and the poor is increasing. Furthermore, an abundance of statistical research demonstrates that the proportion of GDP of many countries in the developed and developing world consisting of unearned income derived from capital is growing year on year, whilst the share of GDP paid out as earned income such as wages and salaries continues to fall. A key question is what role the law plays in all of this and what should law do about this situation? And, how do different areas of the law interact to affect, generate and tame inequality?

While a considerable amount of research has been undertaken by economists, political and social scientists, criminologists and sociologists to study the causes and impact of inequality, there is comparatively little work carried out by legal scholars on the role that law (including labour law, bankruptcy law, corporate law and inheritance law, but also other aspects of both private and public law) has played and plays in this context. In particular, there is little work on the legal foundations of wealth inequality that is also both comparative and historical in outlook. This project aims to fill this gap.

To launch the project, Professors Alexandra Braun and David Cabrelli are organising a set of workshops to discuss and examine, in particular, the role law has played in facilitating the accumulation and distribution of wealth, thus generating or maintaining inequality, understood not just in economic but also in social terms.

The first workshop will centre around labour law including both collective and individual rights and take place on 9th February 2024. Speakers and discussants at the workshop will be Professor Alan Bogg, Professor of Labour Law at the University of Bristol, Dr. Einat Albin, Assistant Professor of Law at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Anne C L Davies, who is the Professor of Law & Public Policy at Oxford University and a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and Dr. Rebecca Zahn, Senior Lecturer in Labour Law at the University of Strathclyde.

The ‘Law, Wealth and Inequality’ has been generously funded by Edinburgh Law School.”

This event is hybrid.

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