Inequalities are at the forefront of today’s public and policy debates. They have been linked to some of the most important political events, including the rise of populism across the developed world and the vote for Brexit, and have sparked worldwide protest movements. There could hardly be a more pressing time to understand how inequalities arise, which ones matter, why they matter, and how they should be addressed.
We see inequalities all the time, whether at the school gates, the hospital, when travelling round the country – or even a single town – or when turning on the news. But at any moment we typically encounter, or hear about, one specific type of inequality, a specific alleged cause of it, or a specific proposed solution.