Wealth Inequality: Facts, Figures and Approaches to Its Study

  • Livio Di Matteo


Methodological issues include defining wealth, units of observation, biases of the data source, asset coverage, sampling, and institutional differences. Sources include survey data, estate tax data, probate, census, and income tax data. The Canadian wealth inequality figures are for 1851–2012 and come from probate records, published scholarly estimates, Statistics Canada Survey data, and federal estate tax data. The US wealth inequality estimates are for 1680–2012 and come from secondary sources using probate, census, survey, and tax data. Estimates for the United Kingdom come from primary and secondary sources for the years from 1668 to 2013, including probate and estate tax data. Inequality measures used are the Gini coefficient and the top 1 and 10 percent wealth shares.


Probate Estate tax Gini Top 1 percent 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Livio Di Matteo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

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