Prof Brian Nolan

Director of Employment, Equity and Growth

Professor of Social Policy, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

Brian Nolan


Brian Nolan has been Director of INET’s Employment, Equity and Growth Programme, Professor of Social Policy at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, and Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College Oxford since 2014. He was previously Principal of the College of Human Sciences and Professor of Public Policy at University College Dublin. He is an economist by training, with a doctorate from the London School of Economics, and his main areas of research are income inequality, poverty, and the economics of social policy. He has been centrally involved in a range of collaborative cross-country research networks and projects, including the Growing Inequalities’ Impacts (GINI) multi-country research project on inequalities and their impacts. He co-edited The Handbook of Economic Inequality (2008), The Great Recession and the Distribution of Household Income (2013), Changing Inequalities in Rich Countries: Analytical and Comparative Perspectives (2014), Changing Inequalities and Societal Impacts in Rich Countries: Thirty Countries’ Experiences (2014), and Children of Austerity: The Impact of the Great Recession on Child Poverty in Rich Countries (2017), and with Christopher T. Whelan co-authored Poverty and Deprivation in Europe (2011), all published by Oxford University Press.

The Employment, Equity and Growth Programme he directs at INET has been seeking to understand why current growth models are failing those on middle and lower incomes in many developed countries, and what policies may help to promote better, fairer growth. Research carried out by the group with the support of the Resolution Foundation has been brought together in two volumes he edited, published by Oxford University Press in 2018: Inequality and Inclusive Growth in Rich Countries: Shared Challenges and Contrasting Fortunes and Generating Prosperity for Working Families in Affluent Countries.

He directed the Oxford Martin Programme on Inequality and Prosperity from 2016-21 supported by Citi as part of its research partnership with the Oxford Martin School and focused on the drivers of inequality and how best to address it and promote inclusive growth. He was also principal investigator on a project funded by the Nuffield Foundation from 2017-19 on the intergenerational transmission of family wealth. His research is currently funded primarily through a 6-year Synergy Grant from the European Research Council for Towards Distributional National Accounts in collaboration with Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics) and Emmanuel Saez (University of California-Berkeley).

Recent Publications