The research is designed to undertake a policy-oriented, multi-dimensional study of inequality in the EU and in other advanced countries. It will address inequality in all of its manifestations – economic, social and educational and in health and gender – exploring changes over time as well as differences across countries. It will also identify the extent to which initial conditions and institutional arrangements affect inequality, the implications of inequality and the appropriate response to it. Attention will be paid to inequality of opportunity in general and specific examples of this phenomenon, the circumstances of women and inter-generational transmission of economic, educational and health inequality from parents to children. It will study the social, political and cultural consequences of these different aspects of inequality and identify how socio-economic characteristics interact with developments of institutional settings. Finally it will provide a policy-oriented synthesis of the findings, identifying the long-term impacts of inequality and the policies that can be adopted to correct inequality. The research will contribute to achieving the Commission’s Social Agenda. Some of its work will address the question of increasing the quality and productivity of work by identifying barriers to the take-up of education and training; it will also contribute to identifying ways of building a more cohesive society with equal opportunities for all.