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A Different Perspective on the Evolution of UK Income Inequality

Anthony Atkinson and Stephen Jenkins ()

No 11884, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper scrutinizes the conventional wisdom about trends in UK income inequality and also places contemporary inequality in a much longer historical perspective. We combine household survey and income tax data to provide better coverage of all income ranges from the bottom to the very top. We make a case for studying distributions of income between tax units (i.e. not assuming the full income sharing that goes with the use of the household as the unit of analysis) for reasons of principle as well as data harmonization. We present evidence that income inequality in the UK is as least as high today as it was just before the start of World War 2.

Keywords: inequality; tax unit; household; Gini coefficient; income tax data; household survey data (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C46 C81 D31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2018-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-ltv
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Published - published in: Review of Income and Wealth, 66(2), June 2020, 253-266 (Open Access)

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Journal Article: A Different Perspective on the Evolution of UK Income Inequality (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: A different perspective on the evolution of UK income inequality (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: A different perspective on the evolution of UK income inequality (2019) Downloads
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