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Trends in the Shares of Top Wealth-Holders in Britain, 1923-1981

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  • Atkinson, Anthony B
  • Gordon, James P F
  • Harrison, Alan

Abstract

This paper reexamines earlier work by Atkinson and Harrison (1978, 1979), which presented a consistent series of estate-based estimates of the distribution of wealth in Englnd and Wales for the years 1923 to 1972, and conducted an econometric analysis of the trends over time in the distribution. Such a reexamination is timely for several reasons. First, estate data allowing a considerable extension of our series are now available. Second, we can conduct a test of the forecasting ability of our original econometric specification. Third, there are grounds for modifying this specification, although, as it turns out, the revised formulation performs only marginally better than the original. Finally, the newly estimated equation can be used to examine the likely impact on the distribution of wealth of recent sharp fluctuation in stock and house prices, both of which play a central role in determining changes in the share of total wealth owned by top wealth-holders. Copyright 1989 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Suggested Citation

  • 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 315-332, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:51:y:1989:i:3:p:315-32
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    Cited by:

    1. Graziella Bertocchi, 2011. "The Vanishing Bequest Tax: The Comparative Evolution Of Bequest Taxation In Historical Perspective," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 107-131, March.
    2. A. B Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2013. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in Five Anglo-Saxon Countries Over the Long Run," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89, pages 31-47, June.
    3. repec:cep:sticas:/178 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:bla:revinw:v:63:y:2017:i:4:p:731-759 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Atkinson, Anthony B., 2013. "Wealth and inheritance in Britain from 1896 to the present," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58087, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    6. Atkinson, A.B., 2006. "Concentration among the Rich," WIDER Working Paper Series 151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Ohlsson, Henry & Roine, Jesper & Waldenstrom, Daniel, 2006. "Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings," WIDER Working Paper Series 103, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. A B Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in Five Anglo-Saxon Countries over the Twentieth Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 640, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

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