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Title: Income from capital, inequality indicators and social policy
Author: Ooms, Tahnee Christelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 3385
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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Capital incomes have traditionally been an understudied topic in inequality research but havebegun to receive significant attention in recent years. The main puzzle emerging is whymarked increases in capital shares observed in many advanced economies appear to have little impact on standard indicators of income inequality. The implicationis thatdifferent narrativesare opening up across differentareas of scholarship. As a consequence, both academics and policy makers are not talking the same language. If there is no accurate picture of the effect of capital incomes on overall inequality, capital incomes will continue to be under-studied, their impact will not be properly captured and understood, and policy responses will be inadequate and poorly designed. This thesis (1) puts forward a blueprint which puts into context recent advances in the field which helps to explain why different narratives open up and (2) provides an exploratory pathway to help bridge diverging UK narratives. First, improving the capture of capital incomes in headline inequality indicators, drawing upon state-of-the-art methods. Second, recalculating headline statistics using the capital adjusted series and showing how the narrative changes from little to moderate (and increasing) effect on inequality. Third, identifying complementary information not captured by the recalculated headline indicators, which add substantial information to the capital income narrative. Finally, combining all the policy implications that have opened up in the process and highlight that there is much potential to expand the discussion of capital (income) redistribution in social policy debates. It is argued that one of the conditions for this to work is that capital income adjustments should be made to the headline inequality statistics, proposed in this thesis.
Supervisor: Nolan, Brian Sponsor: Resolution Foundation ; INET Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: capital income