The Economics of Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination in the 21st Century

by Robert S. Rycroft, Editor

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Cover image for The Economics of Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination in the 21st Century

March 2013


Pages 613
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Economics/Policy
  • Award Winner!




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Leading scholars examine the conflicting paradigms of affluence and destitution in the United States—as well as other free societies—and discuss the influence of education, race, and status on economic mobility.

While recent catastrophic events in New Orleans and Haiti may have magnified issues of social inequity, leaders have debated over poverty and discrimination for decades. Are the poor disadvantaged by the institutions of society or by the choices they make? Through two insightful volumes, the author examines differing academic and political perspectives to help shed light on the causes of poverty and inequality; the role that gender, race, age, or sexual preference plays in determining opportunity; and the effectiveness of current social and economic policies in balancing the inequity among disparate groups.

The Economics of Inequality, Poverty, and Discrimination in the 21st Century consists of 2 volumes containing 32 papers divided into 5 categories: measurement, inequality and mobility, institutions and choices, demographic groups and discrimination, and policy. The papers—written by economists, sociologists, philosophers and lawyers—deal with the extent of inequality in the United States and how it compares to other countries, and the newly emerging evidence on the relationship between inequality and mobility within a society.


  • Examines the notion of education as the great equalizer and the reality of the Matthew Effect
  • Includes the most recent findings of academic experts from across disciplines
  • Explores the pros and cons of welfare reform
  • Provides a fair treatment of alternative perspectives
Author Info

Robert S. Rycroft, PhD, is professor of economics and chair of the economics department at the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA. His published works include The Economics of Inequality, Discrimination, Poverty and Mobility. Rycroft received a bachelor's degree in economics from the College of William and Mary and a doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland–College Park.



"This timely, accessible handbook makes a major contribution toward improving understanding of the causes of and solutions to poverty and inequality in the U.S. An absolute must-read for undergraduate and graduate students studying economics and public policy as well as relevant faculty and practitioners. Summing Up: Essential."Choice

"A full and fair treatment of a complex subject that greatly expands on Rycroft's earlier work on the topic. It will find broad appeal among generalists, specialists, and students of economic and social issues related to equality and discrimination."Library Journal


2013 Outstanding Academic Title (Top 25) — Choice

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