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Social and Spatial Inequalities Working Papers

Welcome to the SASI working paper series

The SASI working paper series is a selection of research documents that may be of interest to other researchers and the general public. The series will be largely made up of dissertation research conducted by SASI students and non-peer reviewed work of SASI related staff

If you would like to make a submission to the series please contact Dan Vickers


SASI-WP 11/02: Inequality of Life Expectancy in New Zealand 1900 1995 by Luke Temple


Examining life expectancy constitutes an important part of healthcare analysis and comparison. Using a newly available data set, this study calculates the life expectancy of the New Zealand population over the twentieth century. It also furthers the exploration by analysing the geographical inequality of life expectancy between nine regions, focusing on different age groups and gender disparities. Digitized data from the General Registrar and Statistics New Zealand was used to calculate Life Tables using the Chiang II Method. The Gini-Coefficient was used to compare inequality over time. The results were compared against the policies and prominent healthcare policies of the time period and for specific age groups.

Life expectancy in general has increased, however not in uniform or incremental steps. Inequality has fluctuated greatly over the twentieth century, suggesting it is responding to contextual policy decisions. Although New Zealander women live longer on average, they consistently faced higher levels of life expectancy inequality compared to men. Perhaps surprisingly, during the height of the welfare state, equality increased for men, but life expectancy decreased. The inequality of life expectancy increases for each age range. Over the twentieth century, cohort data shows that younger and younger age groups face inequality earlier in their lives. Children turning 5 in 1990 faced inequality for their age group not experienced for over 70 years. The geographical inequality in New Zealand suggests that regions develop very differently to each other, even when in close proximity. This could be that policy is not implemented in a uniform pattern, or that the particular demographic and contextual traits of each region (socioeconomic, ethnic, physical etc.) could respond to policy developments differently, or likely a combination of the two. Inequality appears to respond as expected to policy changes, however, life expectancy does not change in the expected way.

Keywords: Inequality, life expectancy, New Zealand


SASI-WP 11/01: The Influence of Regional Earnings and Labour Market Structures on Inequality in the UK, 1994-2009 by George Disney


This working paper presents a critical analysis of the effect of regional earnings and labour market structures on UK earnings inequality during the period of almost continuous economic growth, since 1994. Using, adapting and combining a range of existing methodologies the empirical work looks to challenge and repack accepted theses on social polarisation and professionalisation and their link to inequality.

A consistent theme throughout the research is the extent to which the proportions of higher paid workers are concentrated in the South East of England. Also, within this part of England, one finds the greatest level of change in the earnings and labour market structure. This suggests that the mode of economic growth experienced since 1994 has had a greater effect on the higher end of the labour market in this specific part of the UK. As a result, the effect that these developments have had on the UK's levels of earnings inequality is considered. The implications of these findings mean that future research in this field should further explore the effect of the highest-paid, most-lucrative labour market sectors on earnings inequality across and within the UK.

Key words: inequality, social polarisation, professionalisation, labour markets