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A different perspective on the evolution of UK income inequality

Atkinson, A. B. and Jenkins, Stephen P. ORCID: 0000-0002-8305-9774 (2020) A different perspective on the evolution of UK income inequality. Review of Income and Wealth, 66 (2). 253 - 266. ISSN 0034-6586

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Identification Number: 10.1111/roiw.12412


This paper scrutinizes the conventional wisdom about trends in UK income inequality and also places contemporary inequality in a much longer historical perspective. We combine household survey and income tax data to provide better coverage of all income ranges from the bottom to the very top (and make our estimates available to other researchers). We make a case for studying distributions of income between tax units (i.e. not assuming the full income sharing that goes with the use of the household as the unit of analysis) for reasons of principle as well as data harmonization. We present evidence that income inequality in the UK is as least as high today as it was just before the start of World War 2.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C4 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics > C46 - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Specific Distributions
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C8 - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs > C81 - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data
D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2019 09:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:55

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