Concentration among the Rich

Anthony B. Atkinson

in Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548880
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720765 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Concentration among the Rich

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This study examines the concentration of wealth among the group of top wealth holders, defined as those with wealth in excess of a high cut‐off. The study begins by considering the definition of this cut‐off, analogous to the definition of a poverty line at the other end of the distribution. It then considers what can be learned about the proportion classified as ‘rich’ and about the concentration among the rich from four non‐survey sources: journalists' lists, estate data, wealth tax data, and investment income tax data. It starts off from the world's billionaires in 2006, but is particularly concerned with changes over time within countries, taking France, Germany, the UK, and the USA, to illustrate the different sources.

Keywords: wealth; inequality; assets; rich

Chapter.  11261 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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