Social and economic inequality remains a contentious issue in the United States and in other western countries. Considerations of inequality spill over to related concerns: social justice, public responsibility, government versus private remedies for social problems. In Western countries debates about inequality are not focused on whether inequality is desirable, but on how much is acceptable, on how the degree of inequality should be managed, and on provisions to be made for the less fortunate. At Columbia, our research on these themes has focused on education, on labor market processes including issues particular to women, ethnic minorities and immigrants in the labor force, as well as on elites and the creation and intergenerational transmission of household wealth. We are examining these issues in the United States, Europe, Asia, and in Latin America.
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