Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

PA 520 Inequality, Race and Public Policy (**)


Economic inequality has increased significantly in recent decades. In this course we explore the impact of public policies and programs on the distribution of income, wealth and opportunity in the United States with a particular focus on inequalities across racial and ethnic groups. The course begins with an introduction to key concepts in the measurement of inequality and poverty and an overview of recent trends within and between groups. We then turn to systematically analyze how public policy shapes inequality across a range of topical areas including labor markets, education, taxation, health, housing and criminal justice. The course will also include a critical examination of the role of race in shaping public opinion and public policymaking from key historical moments to the present.

Learn more about the Undergraduate Certificate in Public Policy

Recent Syllabus

Spring 2021 Syllabus


(*) = Routinely Offered

(**) = Commonly Offered (very likely to be offered in the next one to three years)