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Flat-lining or seething beneath the surface?: two decades of changing economic inequality in the UK

Polina Obolenskaya and John Hills

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: This paper analyses what happened to economic inequalities in the United Kingdom in the two decades from 1995-96. In aggregate, inequality changes were unremarkable, especially by comparison with sharp increases in the 1980s. However, over the first decade economic outcomes improved across population groups, while over the second near-stagnation accompanied continuing high inequality. We show that the apparent stability of inequality in this period masked the way in which the nature and depth of economic inequalities changed after the economic crisis, leading to substantial differences between and within groups defined in different ways. Pervasively, younger adults lost out in the second decade compared to older ones. When population groups are defined in other ways (such as region, housing tenure or ethnicity) patterns are more complex, but with the worst-off in particular groups often being ‘left behind’. more complex, but with the worst-off in particular groups often being ‘left behind’.

Keywords: inequality; wealth; income; wages; distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D30 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur
Date: 2019-07
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