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Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are they Compatible? Part 6. The Distribution of Wealth

  • Kaja Bonesmo Fredriksen
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    The wealth distribution within OECD countries is very concentrated and much more so than the income distribution. Wealth dispersion is especially high in the United States and Sweden. The latter illustrates that the most wealth unequal countries are not necessarily the most income unequal. Wealth inequality came down since the beginning of the 20th century until the 1970s, but has since been on the rise. Major explanations for this development are soaring financial markets in the aftermath of financial market deregulation in the 1970s, a lighter taxation of top incomes and wealth, which has favoured the accumulation of wealth, and the rising importance of inheritances and inter vivos gifts. Moins d'inégalités de revenu et plus de croissance – Ces deux objectifs sont-ils compatibles ? : Partie 6. La répartition de la richesse Dans les pays de l’OCDE, la répartition de la richesse est très concentrée, bien plus encore que celle des revenus. Elle est particulièrement asymétrique aux États-Unis et en Suède. Ce dernier pays est l’exemple d’un pays où les inégalités de richesse sont fortes alors que les inégalités de revenu y sont plus faibles que dans la plupart des pays de l’OCDE. Les inégalités de richesse se sont résorbées du début du 20e siècle aux années 70 pour se creuser de nouveau depuis lors. L’essor des marchés financiers qui a fait suite à la déréglementation des marchés de capitaux dans les années 70, l’allègement de l’imposition des plus hauts revenus et de la fortune, qui a favorisé l’accumulation de richesses, et l’importance croissante des héritages et des donations expliquent principalement cette évolution.

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 929.

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    Date of creation: 09 Jan 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:929-en
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