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The challenge of measuring UK wealth inequality in the 2000s

Alvaredo, Facundo, Atkinson, Anthony B. and Morelli, Salvatore (2016) The challenge of measuring UK wealth inequality in the 2000s. Fiscal Studies, 37 (1). pp. 13-33. ISSN 0143-5671

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Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1475-5890.2016.12084


The concentration of personal wealth is now receiving a great deal of attention – after having been neglected for many years. One reason is the growing recognition that, in seeking explanations for rising income inequality, we need to look not only at wages and earned income but also at income from capital, particularly at the top of the distribution. In this paper, we use evidence from existing data sources to attempt to answer three questions: (i) What is the share of total personal wealth that is owned by the top 1 per cent, or the top 0.1 per cent? (ii) Is wealth much more unequally distributed than income? (iii) Is the concentration of wealth at the top increasing over time? The main conclusion of the paper is that the evidence about the UK concentration of wealth post-2000 is seriously incomplete and significant investment in a variety of sources is necessary if we are to provide satisfactory answers to the three questions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: STICERD
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution
H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2016 15:42
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 09:12
Projects: ES/I033114/1
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Department for International Devleopment, New Economic Thinking, European Research Council

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