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Concentration among the Rich

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  • Atkinson, A.B.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the concentration of wealth among the group of top wealth holders, defined as those with wealth in excess of a high cut off. The paper begins by considering the definition of this cut off, analogous to the definition of a poverty line at the other end of the distribution. It then considers what can be learned about the proportion classified as ?rich? and about the concentration among the rich from four non-survey sources: journalists? lists, estate data, wealth tax data, and investment income tax data. It starts off from the world?s billionaires in 2006, but is particularly concerned with changes over time within countries, taking France, Germany, the UK, and the USA, to illustrate the different sources.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/rp2006/rp2006-151.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number RP2006/151.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2006-151

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Keywords: wealth; inequality; assets; rich;

References

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  1. Piketty, Thomas & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Rosenthal, Jean Laurent, 2004. "Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807-1994," CEPR Discussion Papers 4631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hansson, Åsa, 2002. "The Wealth Tax and Economic Growth," Working Papers 2002:20, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  3. Matti Tuomala & Jouko Vilmunen, 1988. "On the trends over time in the degree of concentration of wealth in Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 184-190, Autumn.
  4. A. W. Dilnot, 1990. "The Distribution and Composition of Personal Sector Wealth in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 23(1), pages 33-40.
  5. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 25-42, March.
  6. Menchik, Paul L, 1980. "Primogeniture, Equal Sharing, and the U. S. Distribution of Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 299-316, March.
  7. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Top Wealth Shares in the United States: 1916-2000: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," NBER Working Papers 10399, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1990. " The Distribution of Wealth: Measurement and Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 329-60.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B & Gordon, James P F & Harrison, Alan, 1989. "Trends in the Shares of Top Wealth-Holders in Britain, 1923-1981," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(3), pages 315-32, August.
  10. Sen, Pranab Kumar, 1988. "The harmonic Gini coefficient and affluence indexes," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 65-76, August.
  11. Atkinson, A B & Harrison, Alan J, 1975. "Mortality Multipliers and the Estate Duty Method," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 37(1), pages 13-28, February.
  12. Blinder, Alan S, 1973. "A Model of Inherited Wealth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(4), pages 608-26, November.
  13. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  14. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "Distribution of Income and Wealth among Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 382-97, July.
  15. Charles Stewart, 1939. "Income Capitalization as a Method of Estimating the Distribution of Wealth by Size Groups," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Income and Wealth, Volume 3, pages 95-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Wolff, Edward N, 1996. "International Comparisons of Wealth Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(4), pages 433-51, December.
  17. Rubinstein, William D, 1971. "Occupations Among British Millionaires, 1857-1969," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 17(4), pages 375-78, December.
  18. Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini & Timothy Smeeding, 2006. "The Luxembourg Wealth Study – A cross-country comparable database for household wealth research," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 375-383, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ohlsson, Henry & Roine, Jesper & Waldenstrom, Daniel, 2006. "Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings," Working Paper Series RP2006/103, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Frank Cowell & Karagiannaki, E. (Eleni) & Abigail Mcknight, 2012. "GINI DP 71: Mapping and Measuring the Distribution of Household Wealth: A Cross-Country Analysis," GINI Discussion Papers 71, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  3. Frank A Cowell & Eleni Karagiannaki & Abigail McKnight, 2012. "Mapping and measuring the distribution of household wealth: A cross-country analysis," CASE Papers /165, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  4. Jeffrey Thompson & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Recent Trends in the Distribution of Income: Labor, Wealth and More Complete Measures of Well Being," Working Papers wp225, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  5. repec:cep:sticas:case165 is not listed on IDEAS

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