Routinely offered: This course is offered every year.
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.