- 1815-1973 (online)
Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.
The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.
Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are they Compatible? Part 6. The Distribution of Wealth
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- Kaja Bonesmo Fredriksen1
- Author Affiliations
- 1: OECD, France
- 09 Jan 2012
- Bibliographic information
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.
- inheritance, wealth inequality, property taxation, net worth, financial markets, Luxembourg Wealth Study
- JEL Classification:
- D31: Microeconomics / Distribution / Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
- D53: Microeconomics / General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium / Financial Markets
- H23: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies