Inequality is at the heart of the current debate on opportunity and equity, with many contemporary policy implications. Public and academic interest in inequality is growing, not only because of the historic widening income and wealth gap in the United States and other advanced industrial countries, but also because inequalities in race, ethnicity, gender, and social class are evolving in dramatic and complex ways. Cornell is a leading center for unequal scholarship, drawing strength from its many departments and colleges.
Cornell University's Center for Inequality Research (CSI) works to understand the patterns, causes, and consequences of social and economic inequality. CSI promotes new cutting-edge research, trains undergraduate and graduate students, encourages the exchange of ideas among unequal researchers, and disseminates research findings to the wider public. It supports evidence- and systems-based research and knowledge, whether "basic" research to develop formal models of social processes underpinning inequality, or "applied" research that assesses the intended or unintended consequences of policies that affect equal opportunity.
CSI is located in the sociology department in the College of Arts and Sciences, but has more than 100 faculty and staff affiliates from around campus. Faculty affiliations study a variety of topics, including labor market processes and income inequality, educational attainment and transition from school to work, poverty and homelessness, intergenerational mobility and equality of opportunity, residential segregation, community and urban poverty, racial and ethnic inequality, immigration, changing family forms and their impact on child development.