Our symposium offers a variety of perspectives, such as on self-perpetuation of inequality in the international system, or on the consequences of inequality for economic growth or for social and political conflicts. This contribution discusses the determinants of domestic policy choices that affect inequality and the consequences of these policy choices. The empirical focus is on Latin American countries, which collectively are characterized by the highest regional levels of inequality in the world, but individually show considerable variation. Different analyses have emphasized different causes of income inequality and of the variation in inequality, such as historical structural roots in land distribution and natural-resource endowments, geography, ethnic divisions, the economic context, demographics, and state action or lack thereof. The role of the state has not received much systematic attention until rather recently, though, despite its essential role in the allocation of resources.