Wealth and the wealthy have received relatively little attention from social scientists despite a growing wealth gap. Aimed at a broad social science and public readership, this book draws on new data on wealth to answer the following key questions: What is wealth? Who has got it? Where might we draw a 'wealth line'? Who lies above it? And what might policy do about wealth and the wealthy? Using data sources from the HMRC to the Sunday Times Rich list, this book provides a comprehensive and critical discussion of these issues, and looks at potential policy responses, including 'asset-based' welfare and taxation.
"Now is the time for a serious social policy analysis of wealth and the wealthy. This illuminating book provides both the data and a clear-sighted discussion of the issues." Jane Millar, University of Bath
"A calm and dispassionate introduction to the facts about wealth in Britain, providing essential context for many of the most important and urgent policy debates today." John Hills, Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics
"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." Professor the Baroness (Ruth) Lister of Burtersett, Loughborough University
Karen Rowlingson is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests include personal finance and inequality.
Stephen McKay is Professor of Social Research in the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham. He has particular expertise in the secondary analysis of complex datasets in relation to, social security, inequality and wealth.
Why wealth matters; Why the wealthy matter; What is wealth and who are the wealthy?; The distribution of wealth; The rich, the richer and the richest; Towards a comprehensive policy on assets; Social policy and the wealthy; Conclusions.