Lucio Esposito

Associate Professor

Dr Lucio Esposito is an Associate Professor in the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. With a background in economics, political science and international development, he has expertise in economic development, education, literacy, gender, economic inequality, welfare, international poverty, distributive justice, comparative cross-country studies, quality of life and health.

He is advisor for the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the UK Department for International Development, Research Foundation Flanders, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Czech Science Foundation. He has collaborated with publishers including Routledge, Palgrave McMillan and over 50 International Journals in the fields of International Development, Economics, Business, Econometrics, Philosophy, Psychology, Education, Health, Human Geography and Area Studies.

He carries out both theoretical and empirical research employing quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods and using secondary and primary data collected in 16 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. He is Director of the MA in International Development.

Dr Esposito is the editor-in-chief of Development Studies Research.


Research Interests

General. International Development, Development Economics, Welfare Economics and Research Methods.

Specific. Inequality, Relative Deprivation, Poverty, Health, Wellbeing, Education, Literacy, Distributive Justice, Social Choice, Capability Approach, Migration, Political opinions, Cross-country Studies, Data Collection Methodologies. Latin America and Africa.


  • Selected
  • Other

Review of Measuring poverty around the world, Anthony B∙ Atkinson∙ Princeton University Press, Economics and Philosophy, forthcoming (with B. Zuluaga)

The Importance of Being Earliest: Birth Order and Educational Outcomes in Mexico, Journal of Population Economics, 33, 1069–1099, 2020 (with S. Kumar and A. Villaseñor)

The economic gradient of obesity in Mexico: distinct predictive roles of absolute and relative wealth, and gender heterogeneity, Social Science and Medicine, 112870, 2020 (with A. Villaseñor, E. Cuevas Rodríguez and C. Millet)

Eliciting, applying and exploring multidimensional welfare weights: evidence from the field, Review of Income and Wealth, 65, S204-S227, 2019 (with E. Chiappero-Martinetti)

Relative Deprivation and School Enrolment: Evidence from Mexico, Review of Income and Wealth, 65, 166-186, 2019 (with A. Villaseñor)

Multidimensional Poverty Measurement: The Value of Life and the Challenge to Value Aggregation, in Dimensions of Poverty: Measurement, Epistemic Injustices, Activism. Beck, V., Hahn, H. & Lepenies, R. (eds.), Springer, (with N. Hassoun and A. Herlitz), 2019

Wealth Inequality, Educational Environment and School Enrolment: Evidence from Mexico, Journal of Development Studies, 54:11, 2095-2118, 2018 (with A. Villaseñor)

Does government spending affect income poverty? A meta-regression analysis, World Development, 103, 60-71, 2018 (with E. Anderson, M. Duvendack and M. Jalles D’Orey)

Chronic and old-age poverty as the main concerns in a twofold survey on intertemporal poverty preferences, Journal of International Development, 30(7), 1096-1115, 2017 (with E. Chiappero-Martinetti)

Mental Illness and Economic Status: Evidence of Gender Differences in Depression from Mexico, Journal of Mental Health, 27: 6, 529-551, 2018 (with P. Anand and A. Villaseñor)

Relative Deprivation and Relative Satisfaction, in The Handbook of Research on Economic and Social Wellbeing, Ed. Conchita D’Ambrosio, Edward Elgar, London, Ch 15, 339-355, 2018

Relative deprivation: measurement issues and predictive role for body image dissatisfaction, Social Science and Medicine, 192, 49-57, 2017 (with A. Villaseñor)

Measuring health burden without discriminating against the disabled, Journal of Public Health, 39(3), 633-639, 2017 (with N. Hassoun)

Does government spending affect income inequality? A meta-regression analysis, Journal of Economic Surveys, 31(4), 961–987, 2017 (with E. Anderson, M. Duvendack and M. Jalles D’Orey)

The impact of government policies on income inequality and the translation of growth into income poverty reduction: protocol for two systematic reviews. Journal of Development Effectiveness, 7(4), 484-498, 2015 (with E. Anderson, M. Duvendack and M. Jalles D’Orey)

Should fines depend on offenders’ incomes? A Study on Values and Institutions, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 171, 355-371, 2015(with K. Bosmans)

The Value of Literacy Practices, Journal of Comparative and International Education, 45, 363-380, 2015 (with B. Kebede and B. Maddox)

On the Joint Evaluation of Absolute and Relative Deprivation, Journal of Economic Inequality, 12, 411-428, 2014 (with E. Anderson)

An Exploration of Subjective Valuations: A Cross-country Analysis of Perceived Economic Status and Life Satisfaction, World Development, 59, 212-223, 2014 (with L. Camfield)

Latin America in the XXI Century: Nations, Regionalism and Globalization: Review, Bulletin of Latin American Research, 33(3), 373–375, 2014

Introduction to the Special Issue: Inequality and the Great Recession, Economics and Business Letters, 3(3), 134-135, 2014

Literacy Inequalities, Mediation and the Public Good:  A Case Study of Physical Proximity and Social Distance in Nepal, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 34, 243-261, 2013 (with B. Maddox)

Reign in Hell or Serve in Heav’n? A Cross-country Journey into the Absolutist vs Relativist Perception of Wellbeing, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 81, 715-730, 2012 (with L. Corazzini and F. Majorano)

Literacy Practices and Schooling: A Case Study from Mozambique, World Development, 39, 1796-1807, 2011 (with B. Kebede and B. Maddox)

New Perspectives on a More-or-less Familiar Poverty Index, Social Choice and Welfare, 36, 241-247, 2011 (with K. Bosmans and P. J. Lambert)

Exploring the Absolutist Vs Relativist Perception of Poverty Using a Cross-Country Questionnaire Survey, Journal of Economic Psychology, 32, 273-283, 2011 (with L. Corazzini and F. Majorano)

Poverty Measurement: Prioritarianism, Sufficiency and the ‘I’s of Poverty, Economics and Philosophy, 27, 109-121, 2011 (with P. J. Lambert)

What Principles Should Inform Poverty Indices? Insights from a Cross-Country Survey. Empirical Economics, 387-420, 2011 (with F. Majorano)

Sufficiency Re-examined: A Capabilities Perspective on the Assessment of Functional Adult Literacy. Journal of Development Studies, 47, 1315-1331, 2011 (with B. Maddox)

Upper Boundedness for the Measurement of Relative Deprivation, Review of Income and Wealth, 56(3), 632-639, 2010

Multidimensional Poverty Measurement: Restricted and Unrestricted Hierarchy among Poverty Dimensions. Journal of Applied Economics 13, 181-204, 2010 (with E. Chiappero-Martinetti)

A Note On the Bourguignon-Fields Class of Poverty Indices. Journal of Public Economics 93, 852-854, 2009 (with P.J. Lambert)


Work In Progress, R&R and submitted

Smoking habits in Mexico: Upward and Downward Comparisons of Economic Status, R&R (with S. Dhongde and C. Millet)

Economic Inequality and Depressive Symptoms: Missing the Trees for the Forest?, R&R (with A. Villaseñor and Rowena Jacobs)

Different Conceptualizations of Economic Well-Being and Self-Placements on a Left-Right Scale: Evidence from Undergraduate Students in Seven Countries, R&R (with Ulrike Theuerkauf)

What gets them going? The effects of Activation Policies on personal change processes of Unemployed Youth, submitted (with Verena Niyadurupola)

Sociomaterial and Psychosocial Pathways to Educational Inequalities: Mixed Methods evidence from Brazil, submitted (with A. Villaseñor and S. Kumar)

School Inequality and Educational Achievement: Evidence from PISA, in progress (with L. Sempé)

Race and Educational Outcomes in Brazil: Longitudinal Analysis 2009-2019, in progress (with Sandra Macedo and S. Kumar)

Mortality and Socioeconomic Inequalities: evidence from Brazil and Mexico, in progress (with A. Villaseñor)


Niyadurupola, Verena; Esposito, Lucio

What gets them going? The effects of activation policies on personal change processes of unemployed youth. Journal Article

In: Journal of Education and Work, 34 (4), pp. 590–609, 2021, ISSN: 1363-9080.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Esposito, Lucio; Lopez, Luis Villasenor; Jacobs, Rowena

Economic inequality and depressive symptoms: An individual versus aggregate level analysis using Mexican survey data Journal Article

In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2021, ISSN: 0143-005X.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Esposito, Lucio; Kumar, Sunil; Lopez, Adrian Villasenor

The Importance of Being Earliest: Birth order and educational outcomes along the socioeconomic ladder in Mexico Journal Article

In: Journal of Population Economics, 33 (3), pp. 1069–1099, 2020, ISSN: 0933-1433.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX

Esposito, Lucio; n, Adrián Villase; Rodríguez, Enrique Cuevas; Millett, Christopher

The economic gradient of obesity in Mexico: Independent predictive roles of absolute and relative wealth by gender Journal Article

In: Social Science & Medicine, 250 , 2020, ISSN: 0277-9536.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX