This program will consider the effects of technological changes on social mobility and income distribution, focusing specifically on their impact on social inequality in the modern age. These problems will be approached from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, with the aim of establishing a world-class virtual institute for the study of social stratification and inequality.
Traditionally, the problems of social mobility and income distribution have been examined either in the context of their impact on society or on the economy. However, recent research suggests that an interdisciplinary approach is required to fully understand these complex issues. Therefore, in this program sociologists and economists will collaborate to discuss a number of important topics, after which policy recommendations will be made based on the theoretical developments which we will make.
Firstly, we will examine the direct effects of technological changes on income distribution, along with the accompanying indirect effects caused by changes in social mobility. Secondly, as these direct and indirect effects appear to be different depending on the unique social system of each country, international comparisons will be made using empirical data, focusing on the concept of path dependency as a theoretical framework. Thirdly, because it is impossible to separate the issues of social inequality and normative judgments, we will use theoretical analysis to develop social choice theory to gain fresh insight into these issues.
(Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University)
(Professor, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University)
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