This chapter serves as an overview to the edited volume: Income Inequality: Economic Disparities and the Middle Class in Affluent Countries. It begins by reviewing recent literature on income inequality and “why it matters”. It discusses measurement and methodological issues, and presents empirical snapshots of both the level of income inequality and its change over time, based on data from the LIS Database. The chapter introduces the five substantive parts of the book: income inequality trends; inequality and the middle class; inequality and politics; inequality and women's employment; wealth inequality; and the country case studies from two high-income and two middle-income countries: Japan, Iceland, India, and South Africa. This concluding chapter, by the book's editors, also provides highlights from each of the contributed chapters.
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