Koen Decancq




I am an Associate Professor at the Herman Deleeck centre for Social Policy of the University of Antwerp. I am also a Research Fellow at the LSE (CPNSS), U.C.Louvain (CORE), and the department of Economics at KULeuven.

I am an Associate Editor of Social Choice and Welfare and the Journal of Economic Inequality and a Member of the Editorial Board of the Review of Income and Wealth.

Since 2016, I am Country Team Leader of SHARE-Flanders.

My research focuses on the measurement of (multidimensional) inequality, poverty, and well-being with a special focus on the incorporation of individual preferences and the role of socio-economic policies.

Please find here my complete CV (May 2019).

Bart Capéau, Laurens Cherchye, Koen Decancq, André Decoster, Bram De Rock, François Maniquet, Annemie Nys,
Guillaume Périlleux,
Eve Ramaekers, Zoé Rongé, Erik Schokkaert and Frederic Vermeulen.

[Dutch version, French version, Symposium, Conclusions and media coverage]

What constitutes a good life? For most people, well-being involves more than a high income or material prosperity alone. Many non-material aspects, such as health, family life, living environment, job quality and the meaningful use of time are at least as important. Together, these factors also influence the degree to which people are satisfied with their lives, and help to determine how happy they feel.

This book argues that happiness and life satisfaction do not form a good basis for measuring well-being, and proposes an alternative method that not only considers the various aspects of well-being, but also the fact that people have their own views on what is important in life.

Not limited just to theory, the book also presents a large-scale, representative survey involving more than 3000 adults from over 2000 Belgian families, which charted the various aspects of the individual well-being of Belgians. Focusing on the unequal distribution of these various aspects of well-being within families, the survey showed that some Belgians are more likely to suffer from cumulative deprivation in multiple dimensions. Based on this innovative study, the book describes which people in society are worst off – and these are not necessarily only people on low incomes or those who feel unhappy – and proposes that policymakers prioritise these individuals.

Edited by Koen Decancq and Philippe Van Kerm

There is a great deal of coverage on inequality, and the key determinants of recent trends are increasingly well-documented. However, much less is known about the driving forces behind international differences in inequality.

The nine contributions collected in this book set out to examine the fundamental question of What Drives Inequality? These drivers may be so diverse and deep-rooted in the cultural, historical, or geographical characteristics of countries that one can hardly expect comprehensive models or clear-cut causal inference. Nevertheless, the research presented in this book unpacks the reasons behind the wide variations in inequality.

Looking across country boundaries, chapters featured include in-depth insights into inequality in Europe, India, and the United States. It provides new results on the impact of public goods and services and on the role of demographic, labor market and, most importantly, fiscal policy determinants. It also brings fresh evidence and perspectives on the measurement of inequality, by examining wealth or broader measures of well-being, and provides some insights about potential "deeper drivers" such as individual perceptions, preferences, and beliefs about inequality and redistribution.