A new Special Issue


Journal of Income Distribution (JID) announces the release of its most recent issue, Volume 32, Number 3-4 (September-December 2024), in honor of Peter Lambert. The volume of articles, guest edited and introduced by John Creedy and Sreenevasan Subramanian, is dedicated to renowned scholar of income distribution, Peter Lambert.  Professor Lambert has been a friend, referee, and consistent staunch supporter of the Journal of Income Distribution. We are delighted to have the opportunity to honour him with this Special Issue. In the issue the impressive number of contributions by eminent specialists bear witness to the importance and pertinence of his work. The analyses presented in this publication should be of interest to colleagues at York University who are engaged in research in the questions of poverty, inequality and income distribution.


The central focus of the research of Professor Lambert is the development of measurement tools needed for the evaluation of poverty, inequality, and disparity and used to infer from empirical methods the orientation of economic policies required to help lift the underprivileged from their deprivation and destitution. His theoretical approach is based on the use of statistical technics and sets of indices, including the Lorenz curve, the Gini coefficient, and social-welfare functions. This approach is detailed explicitly in his book The Distribution and Redistribution of Income: A Mathematical Analysis, which has become a classic (published in 1989 and released again in 1993 and 2001 in re-edited and expanded versions) as well as in his many articles published in top economics journals: Economic Journal, Economic Letters, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Theory and Decision, Review of Economics and Statistics, and many others, including Journal of Economic Inequality, Review of Income and Wealth, and Journal of Income Distribution, of which he was a co-Guest Editor of a special issue devoted to a Symposium on Models and Functional Forms of Income Distribution.


Aware that measurement of income has multidimensional characteristics and consequences, Lambert set out, with the skill of a mathematician, to disentangle, with theoretical and empirical methodologies, its diverse facets for income distribution. He investigated and studied the various aspects of redistribution from different angles, such as risk, taxation, social benefits, growth, privation, social choice, and competition. In most of his studies, sole or co-authored, Lambert’s theoretical contribution was decisive. His mathematical approach is decisive and impactful for research in policy development.


Lambert’s own research in the various concepts of measurement was designed mostly for theoretical discussion, but he left open to development their application to empirical performance in specific cases, in any one of a number of countries: individual income tax in the United States and in Zimbabwe, income tax revenue in the United Kingdom, tax policy effects in Norway, redistribution in Scandinavia and the United States, income tax EU-wide, and economic growth in Indonesia. Authors of publications in applied journals and for various international organisations, such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, acknowledge the insights of Lambert’s writings and comments.


Lambert has advised many generations of students at and around his long career at the University of York in the United Kingdom, and then at the University of Oregon in the United States. In the 1990s he was appointed to the Scientific Committee of the Swiss National Science Foundation's research programmme "Problèmes de l'Etat Social". He spent time in Ontario as a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Guelph and Western Ontario.


The entire editorial team of the Journal of Income Distribution is pleased to announce that this Special Issue of the JID is available on the Journal’s website, which electronic publication is hosted by the Digital Scholarship Centre of York University Libraries. Online and print publications of the Special Issue in honour of Professor Lambert are available by individual or institutional subscription.