Our Mission

The Stone Center conducts and promotes quantitative research using inequality as a lens on society, the economy and politics. The faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students working within the Center share a commitment to scholarship that is data-driven, interdisciplinary, and policy-oriented, and addresses questions about inequality throughout the world.

Our core functions:

  • Researching the causes, nature, and consequences of socio-economic inequality, with a specific mandate to expand research on wealth concentration at the top;
  • Training and teaching new inequality scholars at The Graduate Center/CUNY across a number of academic disciplines;
  • Participating in discussions and debates on inequality through public programs and collaboration with journalists; and
  • Housing the US Office of LIS, the renowned cross-national data center based in Luxembourg.

The Center was created in 2016 with a generous gift from the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation. The Stones wanted to see research on the lower and middle portions of the economic distribution balanced by research on the causes and consequences of wealth concentration at the top – an area that has, historically, received less attention and funding.

“America’s attachment to a market economy is robust, and I believe that its prosperity is well secured by our culture of challenge and innovation,” Jim Stone said in an interview following the creation of the Center. “There is a danger that we may find ourselves living in a market economy where a tiny fraction of the people and a small number of institutions reap far too great a share of the rewards. This would be a democracy in name only.”

 

 

There is a danger that we may find ourselves living in a market economy where a tiny fraction of the people and a small number of institutions reap far too great a share of the rewards. This would be a democracy in name only.

— Jim Stone