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How Much Do We Know About Wealth Distribution in Australia?

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  • J. W. Nevile
  • N. A. Warren

Abstract

This paper surveys what is known about wealth distribution in Australia and concludes that our knowledge is scanty. The most reliable evidence comes from studies using probate returns and with the abolition of estate duties, these studies are becoming out of date. However, it is clear that wealth is very unequally distributed. The top 5 per cent of adult individuals own between 40 and 50 per cent of the wealth. This inequality is not just due to life cycle effects, and there is no strong evidence that wealth distribution has become more equal in Australia in the period since the First World War. Copyright 1984 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

Suggested Citation

  • J. W. Nevile & N. A. Warren, 1984. "How Much Do We Know About Wealth Distribution in Australia?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 17(4), pages 23-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:17:y:1984:i:4:p:23-33
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    1. Yates, Judith, 1981. "An Analysis of Asset Holdings in Australia by Income Class," Working Papers 53, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daina McDonald, 2006. "150 Issues of The Australian Economic Review: The Changing Face of a Journal over Time," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2006n01, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Bruce Headey & Gary Marks & Mark Wooden, 2005. "The Structure and Distribution of Household Wealth in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(2), pages 159-175, June.

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