The Distribution of Top Earnings in the UK Since the Second World War

Date: 30 March 2010

Much of the change in individual earnings has occurred at the top. This paper provides new evidence about the earnings distribution in the UK. The evidence is new in that it provides detail about what has happened within the top 10%, covering groups such as the top 1% and the top 0.5%. The aim is to set the recent rise in top earnings in historical perspective, and to make international comparisons. The evidence is new in that it covers the whole of the postwar period, allowing a contrast to be drawn with the ‘golden age’ of the 1950s.

Tony Atkinson Sarah Voitchovsky

Employment, Equity and Growth

The Distribution of Top Earnings in the UK since the Second World War


Type: paper

Atkinson, A.B. and Voitchovsky, S. (2010) `The distribution of top earnings in the UK since the Second World War’. Economica, 78: 440–459


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