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The relative role of socio-economic factors in explaining the changing distribution of wealth in the US and the UK

Cowell, Frank, Karagiannaki, Eleni and McKnight, Abigail (2013) The relative role of socio-economic factors in explaining the changing distribution of wealth in the US and the UK. GINI Discussion Paper (85). London School of Economic and Political Science, London, UK.

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In this paper we show that while both the US and the UK enjoyed substantial increases in net wealth over the period 1994/95-2005/06, which were largely driven by house price booms in both countries, the distribution of these gains across households led to a slight increase in wealth inequality in the US but a substantial fall in inequality in the UK. We use a decomposition technique to examine the extent to which changes in households’ socio economic characteristics explain changes in wealth holdings and wealth inequality. In both countries we find that changes in household characteristics had an equalising effect on wealth inequality; moderating the increase in the US and accounting for over one-third of the fall in inequality in the UK.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
JEL classification: 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
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D63 - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2018 11:07
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:02
Funders: European Union FP7 Growing Inequalities’ Impacts (GINI) research project

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