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Capital And Inequality


  • James A. Mirrlees


type="main"> Wealth inequality comes about mainly as a result of lifetime accumulation of capital and risky investment. Evidence from the Forbes Rich Lists show that in recent years volatility of the wealth of the richest has been very great. Randomness of returns to capital can explain a substantial part of global wealth inequality. As a consequence, inequality can best be reduced by a tax on returns to capital in excess of a normal rate of return, in addition to tax on labor earnings. (JEL D31)

Suggested Citation

  • James A. Mirrlees, 2016. "Capital And Inequality," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 399-402, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:34:y:2016:i:3:p:399-402

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    Cited by:

    1. Riccardo De Bonis, 2016. "What Piketty said in Capital in the Twenty-first Century and how economists reacted," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 130, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    2. Emmanuel Saez, 2017. "Questions And Answers: Income And Wealth Inequality—Evidence And Policy Implications," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 26-28, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution


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