Wealth in the UK: Distribution, Accumulation, and Policy

Paperback | August 23, 2015

byJohn Hills, Francesca Bastagli, Frank Cowell

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This book examines key issues connected with the distribution of personal wealth in the UK. It studies why wealth is now such an important factor in social differences and public policy. It presents the most recent information on current wealth inequalities and a detailed discussion of trendsin the distribution of wealth. It uses newly available data to compare wealth inequalities in the UK with the USA, Canada, and Sweden. It uses longitudinal data, which track the same people over time, to examine trajectories in wealth accumulation over the decade to 2005 and inequalities ininheritances over the same period. It looks at how parental wealth levels and people's asset-holdings early in adulthood affect outcomes later in their lives. The final part looks at the way in which policies towards wealth-holding developed historically, and the contradictory ways in which a widerange of public policies relate to people's wealth levels, including through taxation, means-testing, and the encouragement of saving, and discusses what the key issues for policy towards wealth and wealth inequalities now are. Personal wealth in the UK totalled L5.5 trillion by 2010 (L9-10 trillion if occupational pension rights are included). Inheritance flows are now equivalent to 4 per cent of national income each year. All households in the wealthiest tenth have more than 75 times the wealth of any of those in thebottom tenth. Absolute differences in wealth levels have increased substantially over the last 15 years, so wealth differences represent many more years of income than in the past. This makes them of great importance to life chances. This makes the book highly relevant for public policy, but alsofor academic and student understanding of a crucial dimension of social difference. As well as bringing together existing information on the area, the book contains considerable new analysis on wealth inequality, inheritance, and their impacts, drawing on work which is at the forefront of recent research.

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This book examines key issues connected with the distribution of personal wealth in the UK. It studies why wealth is now such an important factor in social differences and public policy. It presents the most recent information on current wealth inequalities and a detailed discussion of trendsin the distribution of wealth. It uses newly...

John Hills is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the London School of Economics. His research interests include income distribution and the welfare state, social security, housing and taxation. He led an independent review of the measurement of fuel poverty for the Departme...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pagesPublished:August 23, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198729405

ISBN - 13:9780198729402

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Table of Contents

PART I: WEALTH AND DISTRIBUTION1. John Hills: Introduction2. John Hills and Francesca Bastagli: Trends in the Distribution of Wealth in Britain3. Frank Cowell: UK Wealth Inequality in International ContextPART II: PERSONAL WEALTH ACCUMULATION AND ITS IMPACTS4. Francesca Bastagli and John Hills: Wealth Accumulation, Ageing, and House Prices5. Eleni Karagiannaki and John Hills: Inheritance, Transfers, and the Distribution of Wealth6. Abigail McKnight and Eleni Karagiannaki: The Wealth Effect: How Parental Wealth and Own Asset-Holdings Predict Future AdvantagePART III: WEALTH AND POLICY7. Howard Glennerster: Differing Public Policy Traditions8. John Hills and Howard Glennerster: Public Policy, Wealth, and Assets: A Complex and Inconsistent Story9. John Hills and Howard Glennerster: Wealth and Policy: Where Do We Go From Here?

Editorial Reviews

"A really important new book ... an authoritative study on the distribution of UK wealth." --The Independent