Oxford University Press Series on Inequality in the Twenty-First Century

The Oxford Series on Human Capital and Economic Opportunity will present state-of-the-art research from a variety of perspectives on the problems of opportunity, human flourishing, and public policy. Volumes in the series will be grouped in accordance with these themes and will be based on the work of HCEO members. In some cases, the volumes will contain research first presented at HCEO conferences, and in others will contain specially commissioned research. The series is published by the Oxford University Press.

The first volume in the series will feature new research on inequality in China, based on the papers presented at the Conference on Inequality in China, held at the University of Chicago Beijing Center on June 17, 2013.

Volume II will be based on the proceedings of the conference held at the University of Chicago on October 17-18, 2014.

The third volume in the series will be based on the proceedings of the Equal Opportunity: The Facts and the Philosophy conference, held at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC on September 11-12, 2014.

Income and wealth inequality has (once again) taken center stage in public policy. Much of the discussion regarding potential solutions has focused on taxation and large-scale redistributive programs. But inequality exists in a number of economic domains, including education, health, housing, and employment that broad brush macroeconomic solutions will not necessarily address. Therefore, it is essential that we bring microeconomic tools to bear on inequality. The new approaches of economic design translate economic theory and analysis into practical solutions to real-world problems. Research in the design of marketplaces has shown ways of improving: the stability of market outcomes, the incentives provided by market mechanisms, and the efficiency the final market allocations. The book will achieve three goals. First, it will describe state-of-the-art, inequality-oriented, market design. Second, it will generalize from existing applications to identify domains in which economic design can play an important role in alleviating inequality. Finally, it will point out future directions of economic design research and applications that can benefit the least well- off in society, who are often most affected by the misallocation of societal resources.