Wealth and the Wealthy

Exploring and Tackling Inequalities between Rich and Poor

Karen Rowlingson and Stephen McKay

Wealth and the Wealthy

Karen Rowlingson and Stephen McKay

Distributed for Bristol University Press

255 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $45.95 ISBN: 9781847423078 Published February 2012 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $116.00 ISBN: 9781847423085 Published February 2012 For sale in North and South America only

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.

List of tables and figures
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
    Measuring 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
    The rich
    The richer
    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
    Pensions policy
    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
    Taxation policy
    Policies for original income and wealth

Review Quotes
Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett, Loughborough University

"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."


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