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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. Gandelman, Néstor & Lluberas, Rodrigo, 2022. "Wealth in Latin America," Research Department working papers 1904, CAF Development Bank Of Latinamerica.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Sebastian-Ilie DRAGOE, 2016. "Inequality Fragility Hypothesis," Expert Journal of Economics, Sprint Investify, vol. 4(2), pages 34-52.
    5. James B. Davies & Rodrigo Lluberas & Anthony F. Shorrocks, 2017. "Estimating the Level and Distribution of Global Wealth, 2000–2014," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(4), pages 731-759, December.
    6. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2018. "Wealth and inheritance in Britain from 1896 to the present," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 137-169, June.
    7. Alvaredo, Facundo & Atkinson, Anthony B. & Morelli, Salvatore, 2018. "Top wealth shares in the UK over more than a century," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 26-47.
    8. Laitner, John, 2001. "Secular Changes in Wealth Inequality and Inheritance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 691-721, October.
    9. Anthony Barnes Atkinson, 2006. "Concentration among the Rich," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. Sarkar Saikat & Tuomala Matti, 2018. "Asset bubbles in explaining top income shares," Working Papers 1821, Tampere University, School of Management and Business, Economics.
    11. 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.
    12. repec:cep:sticas:/178 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Henry Ohlsson & Jesper Roine & Daniel Waldenstrom, 2006. "Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2006-103, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Salvatore Morelli, 2020. "The Dynamics of Wealth Concentration: Thoughts on Tony Atkinson’s Contributions," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 197-205, March.
    15. Alvaredo, Facundo & Atkinson, Anthony B. & Morelli, Salvatore, 2018. "Top wealth shares in the UK over more than a century," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 26-47.

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