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Two Decades of Income Inequality in Britain: The Role of Wages, Household Earnings and Redistribution

Belfield, C; Blundell, R; Cribb, J; Hood, A; Joyce, R; (2017) Two Decades of Income Inequality in Britain: The Role of Wages, Household Earnings and Redistribution. Economica , 84 (334) pp. 157-179. 10.1111/ecca.12220. Green open access

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Abstract

We study earnings and income inequality in Britain over the past two decades, including the period of relatively 'inclusive' growth from 1997 to 2004, and the Great Recession. We focus on the middle 90%, where trends have contrasted strongly with the 'new inequality' at the very top. Household earnings inequality has risen, driven by male earnings-although a 'catch-up' of female earnings did hold down individual earnings inequality and reduce within-household inequality. Nevertheless, net household income inequality fell due to deliberate increases in redistribution, the tax and transfer system's insurance role during the Great Recession, falling household worklessness, and rising pensioner incomes.

Type: Article
Title: Two Decades of Income Inequality in Britain: The Role of Wages, Household Earnings and Redistribution
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ecca.12220
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecca.12220
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1539815
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