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

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  • Kaja Bonesmo Fredriksen

    (OECD)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kaja Bonesmo Fredriksen, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are they Compatible? Part 6. The Distribution of Wealth," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 929, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:929-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9h28t0bznr-en
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    1. Isabelle Joumard & Mauro Pisu & Debra Bloch, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 3. Income Redistribution via Taxes and Transfers Across OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 926, OECD Publishing.
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    9. Isabell Koske & Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabelle Wanner, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 2. The Distribution of Labour Income," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 925, OECD Publishing.
    10. Jon Bakija & Adam Cole & Bradley Heim, 2008. "Jobs and Income Growth of Top Earners and the Causes of Changing Income Inequality: Evidence from U.S. Tax Return Data," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-22, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Jan 2012.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sebastian Leitner, 2015. "Drivers of wealth inequality in euro area countries," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 137, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    2. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:59:y:2014:i:01:n:s0217590814500015 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Eduardo Olaberría, 2016. "Bringing all Chileans on board," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1289, OECD Publishing.
    4. Pirmin Fessler & Martin Schürz, 2013. "Cross-Country Comparability of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey," Monetary Policy & the Economy, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 2, pages 29-50.
    5. Stefan Bach & Margit Schratzenstaller, 2013. "Höhere "Reichensteuern": Möglichkeiten und Grenzen: Editorial," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 82(1), pages 5-12.
    6. Roberta, Cardani & Lorenzo, Menna & Patrizio, Tirelli, 2016. "Optimal Public Debt Consolidation with Distributional Conflicts," Working Papers 350, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 05 Oct 2016.
    7. Isabelle Joumard & Mauro Pisu & Debbie Bloch, 2012. "Tackling income inequality: The role of taxes and transfers," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 37-70.
    8. Manuel Melzer, 2012. "Die Verteilung von Vermögen," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 38(4), pages 715-747.
    9. Isabelle Joumard & Mauro Pisu & Debra Bloch, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They Compatible? Part 3. Income Redistribution via Taxes and Transfers Across OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 926, OECD Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    actifs nets; financial markets; héritage; impôt foncier; inheritance; inégalités de richesse; Luxembourg Wealth Study; Luxembourg Wealth Study; marchés de capitaux; net worth; property taxation; wealth inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D53 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Financial Markets
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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