Dr Carsten Sauer

The consequences of income inequality on job satisfaction and health:
The missing link of fairness perceptions
October 2016 to November 2019

Who is Carsten Sauer?

carsten sauerDr Carsten Sauer is a researcher from the Department of Sociology at Bielefeld University. He is working on the project “Legitimacy of Inequalities Over the Life Span”. His main research interests are social stratification, social inequality, empirical justice research, labor market research, quantitative methods, survey-based experiments and factorial surveys. Dr Sauer’s interests nicely complement existing research on inequality already prominent in the Radboud Social Cultural Research (Radboud SCR). His focus on fairness perceptions adds to broadening of the research programme and fills a knowledge gap within current research on inequality (mostly focused on educational and occupational outcomes). Sauer will start fruitful cooperation with several members within Radboud SCR, such as Professor Kraaykamp (gender and educational inequality), Professor M. van den Brink (institutional contexts and gender inequality), Professor M. Wolbers (occupational careers), and Dr J. Tolsma (factorial designs and educational inequalities).

What is his research project about?

His research plan focuses on the consequences of income inequality for job satisfaction and psychological health and how these can be explained by perceptions of fairness. Consequences of income inequality have been the subject of numerous public debates over the last 20 years. Especially popular science books such as The Price of Inequality by Stiglitz (2012) and Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Piketty (2014) have put this topic high on the scientific agenda. It is generally discussed when and how inequalities are acceptable. With this theme he contributes to a lively scientific and societal debate on whether inequalities are perceived as fair and legitimate.

During his Radboud Excellence fellowship

Dr. Carsten Sauer was a Radboud Excellence Initiative fellow in Nijmegen from October 2016 to November 2019. During this time, he taught the Bachelor's course "Social inequality" at Radboud University, where he gave lectures in English. He also continued his collaboration with Bielefeld University by giving seminars and a colloquium.

In 2017, Dr Sauer was granted the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Veni, Social Sciences and Humanities, for his project “Fair income in Europe: How households and families, work organizations and country characteristics influence fairness perceptions of individual earnings and income inequality”.

Dr Sauer also collaborated on two research projects with the University of Cologne and the University of Erfurt. Moreover, he paid research visits to Universidad Diego Portales, where he worked with Prof. Monica Gerber and Universidad Central in Santiago, Chile, where he worked with Prof. Ismael Puga. He also went on a research visit to the Department of Sociology of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA, where he worked with Prof. Donald Tomaskovic-Devey. In these visits he gave different workshops regarding factorial surveys, as well as presentations on organisational inequality and justice.

Publications with Radboud University affiliation

  • Roscigno, V., Sauer, C., & Valet, P. (2018): Rules, relations and work. American Journal of Sociology, 123, 1784-1825.
  • Auspurg, K., Hinz, T., & Sauer, C. (2017): Why Should Women Get Less? Evidence on the Gender Pay Gap from Multifactorial Survey Experiments. American Sociological Review, 82, 179-210.
  • Drewniak, D., Krones, T., Sauer C. & Wild, V.(2016). The influence of patients’ immigration background and residence permit status on treatment decisions in health care. Results of a factorial survey among general practitioners in Switzerland. Social Science & Medicine 161: 64-73.
  • Sauer, C., Valet, P. & Liebig, S. (2016). Welche Lohnungleichheiten sind gerecht? Arbeitsmarktbezogene Ursachen von Lohnungleichheiten und die wahrgenommene (Un-)Gerechtigkeit des eigenen Erwerbseinkommens. Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 68(4): 619-645
  • Liebig S, Sauer C (2016). Sociology of Justice. Pp. 37-59 in: Sabbagh C, Schmitt M (Eds), Handbook of Social Justice Theory and Research Part I. New York: Springer Science + Business Media

Career after Radboud University

After finishing his fellowship at Radboud University, Dr Carsten Sauer started as a Full Professor and Chair of Sociology and Social Stratification in the Department of Political & Social Sciences of Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Here he gives seminars on factorial survey experiments, social theory and labour market sociology. He continues to work on different research projects on perceptions of fairness, inequality and justice, as a principal investigator or collaborator.

Since 2019, Dr Sauer has been an advisory editorial board member for Social Science Research.