Researching inequality: how can data science decipher the distribution of wealth?
Brockmann Lorenz
Professors Dr. Hilke Brockmann and Dr. Jan Lorenz of Constructor University have initiated the Wealth Data Summer School in cooperation with the Unviersity of Cape Town. (Source: Constructor University)

How unfairly is wealth distributed? To get to the bottom of that question, researchers at Constructor University in Bremen are planning a Summer School dedicated to the topic. The project was initiated by sociology professor Dr. Hilke Brockmann and data science professor Dr. Jan Lorenz. It will be organized together with the University of Cape Town in South Africa and is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

"We want to examine the increasing inequality in the distribution of wealth more closely using data science methods," said Brockmann, describing the goal of the "Wealth Data Summer School". Inequality between countries has decreased globally, while it is growing within most societies. The Wealth Data Summer School will therefore follow the digital footprints of the rich to document where, when, how and why they produce and reproduce wealth. "We will also investigate whether digital data can complement established standard data sources for wealth and inequality research," said Brockmann. The results will eventually be made available to the public.

The Wealth Data Science Summer School is based on a cooperation with the African Center of Excellence for Inequality Research at the University of Cape Town. South Africa has the greatest inequality in the distribution of wealth worldwide. Up to 10 experts and 30 young scientists can apply to participate in the research-oriented summer school. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered, and the entire project will be financed by the Volkswagen Foundation. A first call for applications for experts and their projects has now been published. The call for young researchers will follow in winter.

The Summer or, for South Africa, Winter School is to be held July 1-12, 2024, on the campuses of Constructor University and the University of Cape Town, which will be virtually interconnected.

Questions answered by:
Prof. Dr. Hilke Brockmann | Professor of Sociology | +49 421 200-3421



About Constructor University:
Founded in 2001, Constructor University is a top-ranked, English-language, private university, with a campus in Bremen, Germany. With its interdisciplinary approach, advanced digital learning tools and accredited programs, it equips students with fundamental knowledge, critical thinking and practical skills to build their professional career and address the world’s most pressing challenges.
The University emphasizes a synergetic and entrepreneurial spirit, offering program mentoring from top-tier professors and industry experts. Partner collaborations include the Constructor Institute in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Carnegie Mellon, the National University of Singapore, the University of Geneva, and industry references such as Anisoprint, JetBrains and ChemDiv.
Internationality and diversity lie at the heart of Constructor University, with more than 110 nations at its vibrant and close-knit campus community in Bremen. There, students enjoy active campus life, with access to clubs, professional networks and academic counselling, essential to their personal and academic growth.
Research-centric faculty projects at the University are funded by the German Research Foundation, the European Union's Framework Program for Research and Innovation, and globally leading companies.  

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