Growing concerns about high and rising levels of economic inequality have brought into focus the unequal distribution of wealth. Recent research documents increasing wealth concentration at the very top, the loss of middle class wealth, and an increasing share of households with zero or negative net worth in the wake of the Great Recession.
The many benefits of and barriers to wealth attainment and asset ownership require a better understanding of the causes and consequences of high levels of wealth inequality. For an upcoming issue of the RSF online journal, sociologist Fabian Pfeffer and economist Robert Schoeni will organize a symposium featuring nine articles that examine the determinants of high and rising levels of wealth inequality, its economic and social consequences, and potential policy responses. Pfeffer and Schoeni will serve as the guest editors for this issue.