Seminar with Jason Beckfield: Institutional Theory & the Distribution of Population Health

Monday, June 20th 2016
  • CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 John Twohig on FlickrCC BY-NC-ND 2.0 John Twohig on Flickr

Seminar with Jason Beckfield:

Institutional Theory and the Distribution of Population Health

LIEPP is glad to invite you to attend the seminar held on:

Monday, June 20th, 2016
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

LIEPP's Conference Room

New LIEPP's Office, 1st Floor, 254 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75007 Paris

Attendance is free, open until full.

Interested participants should register here


Jason BECKFIELD (Harvard University)

Jason Beckfield is Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. His research investigates the institutional causes and consequences of social inequality. Currently, he is working on three projects: (1) a book about economic inequality in the European Union; (2) a monograph and a series of journal articles that develop an institutional theory of stratification, with a substantive focus on population health; and (3) collaborative publications, many co-authored with doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, that investigate long-term trends in the development of political economy. At Harvard, he teaches courses on social inequality, population health, and quantitative methods, and collaborates with colleagues at the Center for Population and Development Studies, Center for European Studies, and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. 

Abstract of the Paper:

Social inequalities in health endure, but also vary, through space and time. Building on research that documents the durability and variability of health inequality, recent research has turned towards the welfare state and other macroscopic institutional arrangements as major explanatory factors in the search for causes of health inequality. With the aims of (i) creating an organizing framework for this new scholarship, (ii) developing the fundamental-cause approach to social epidemiology and (iii) integrating insights from social stratification and health inequalities research, this seminar sketches the development of a new institutional theory of health inequalities. The theory conceptualizes the welfare state as an institutional arrangement – a set of ‘rules of the game’ – that distributes health across populations defined by citizenship regimes. Specfiically, four mechanisms connect macroscopic institutions to health inequalities by producing and modifying the effects of the social determinants of health. These mechanisms are: redistribution, compression, mediation and imbrication (or overlap). The seminar concludes with a discussion of how this framework (i) organizes comparative research on the social determinants of health, and (ii) identifies new hypotheses about the distribution of population health.