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CEP Public Events

Hosted with the LSE Festival: People and Change, and the LSE Department of Sociology

Smashing the class ceiling

Stephen Machin (CEP, LSE), Lee Elliot Major (Sutton Trust), Sam Friedman (LSE)

Friday 16 June 2023 13:00 - 14:00

This event is both online and in person

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building, LSE, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3LJ

About this event

Lessons in how to improve social mobility: what we can do, how we can do it and why it’s not being done already.

Please note: Sophie Pender was originally scheduled to speak at this event but, unfortunately, has had to cancel.

A society with high social mobility creates opportunities for people from all backgrounds to excel. The UK is becoming less socially mobile, meaning that, compared to previous generations, the chances of young people starting out today are more tightly tied to their background.

Leading experts in this field discuss what can be done to level the playing field, why it's not being done and what is needed to turn ideas into action.

More information is available at LSE Events.


Lee Elliot Major is Professor of Social Mobility at the University of Exeter, Britain's first professor in the field. His work is dedicated to improving the prospects of disadvantaged young people.

Sam Friedman is Professor of Sociology at LSE. His research focuses on inequality and the cultural dimensions of contemporary class division. He is currently writing a book with Aaron Reeves (under contract with Harvard University Press) exploring how the British elite has changed over the last 120 years. His previous book, The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged, researched social mobility into Britain's higher professional and managerial occupations.

Stephen Machin (chair) is a British economist and Professor of Economics at LSE. He is currently the director of the Centre for Economic Performance and is a fellow of the British Academy, the Society of Labor Economists and the European Economic Association.


This event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required.

Click here to register to attend in person, to attend online, please click here.

For any queries contact us at

More about this event

This event is part of the LSE Festival: People and Change running from Monday 12 to Saturday 17 June 2023, with a series of events exploring how change affects people and how people effect change. Booking for all Festival events will open on Monday 15 May.

The Department of Sociology seek to produce sociology that is public-facing, fully engaged with London as a global city, and with major contemporary debates in the intersection between economy, politics and society - with issues such as financialisation, inequality, migration, urban ecology, and climate change.

Twitter hashtags for this event: #LSEFestival.

LSE Festival 2023 LSE Department of Sociology

Participants are expected to adhere to the CEP Events Code of Conduct.


This event will take place in Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Cheng Kin Ku Building, LSE, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3LJ.

The building is labelled CKK on the LSE campus map. You can also find us on Google Maps. For further information, go to contact us.