The Challenge of Measuring UK Wealth Inequality in the 2000s

22 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2015

See all articles by Facundo Alvaredo

Facundo Alvaredo

Ecole Normale Superieure (PSE-ENS)

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Salvatore Morelli

The Graduate Center - CUNY

Date Written: September 2015

Abstract

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 is necessary if we are to provide satisfactory answers to the three questions.

Keywords: inequality, United Kingdom, wealth

JEL Classification: D3, H2

Suggested Citation

Alvaredo, Facundo and Atkinson, Anthony B. and Morelli, Salvatore, The Challenge of Measuring UK Wealth Inequality in the 2000s (September 2015). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP10810, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2657166

Facundo Alvaredo (Contact Author)

Ecole Normale Superieure (PSE-ENS) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
75014 Paris
France

Anthony B. Atkinson

University of Oxford - Nuffield Department of Medicine

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Salvatore Morelli

The Graduate Center - CUNY ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

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