This chapter provides the introduction to a collection of 11 comparative chapters and a concluding chapter which, based on 30 country studies (25 European, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea; reported in the companion volume Nolan et al. 2013), look at the evolution of inequalities, their social and political impacts, and national policies regarding inequality. Four chapters consider the evolution of inequalities of income and their drivers, the role of earnings and employment, the inequalities of wealth, and those of education. Four subsequent chapters address the social and political impacts in a wide range of fields, such as poverty and social exclusion, health and housing, attitudes towards inequality, trust, and political legitimacy. Next, policies of redistribution, job provision and public services are discussed in two chapters, followed by a chapter on educational policies and inequality. The chapter explains the approach and its challenges and ends with a summary overview of inequalities.
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