Wealth and the Wealthy
Exploring and Tackling Inequalities between Rich and Poor
Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol
The wealthy have received relatively little attention from social scientists despite the growing gap between rich and poor. A much-needed step forward for the wealth debate, Wealth and the Wealthy draws on new data to answer the following key questions: What is wealth? Who has it? Where might we draw a wealth line? Who would be above it? And how should policy address wealth and the wealthy? Karen Rowlingson and Stephen McKay comprehensively and critically examine these issues and explore potential policy responses, including asset-based welfare and taxation.
"This thoughtful and far-reaching critical analysis of the 'problem of riches' is a timely contribution to the debate on inequality. It deserves to be widely read."
About the authors
Chapter One: Why wealth matters
From collective welfare to individual assets
The role of assets in people’s lives
Is there an asset effect?
Chapter Two: Why the wealthy matter
The increasing concentration of income and wealth
Is the concentration of income and wealth a social problem?
Is the concentration of wealth good or bad for the economy?
Un/equal opportunities and un/fair rewards
Attitudes to the gap between the rich and the poor
Chapter Three: What is wealth and who are the wealthy?
Conceptualising and defining wealth
Conceptualising and defining the wealthy
Measuring the wealthy
Chapter Four: The distribution of wealth
The distribution of wealth
Combining income and assets
The distribution of assets by age, ethnicity and region
Gender and the within-household distribution of wealth
Inheritance and unearned wealth
Chapter Five: The rich, the richer and the richest
Philanthropy and charitable giving
Chapter Six: Towards a comprehensive social policy on assets
The goal of a comprehensive policy on assets
Asset-based welfare policies, proposals and perspectives
Policies on housing wealth
Taxing assets in the UK
Within-household distribution of assets
Chapter Seven: Social policy and the wealthy
The goals of policy on riches
Equal opportunity policy
Policies for original income and wealth