Incomes database reveals wealth trends

29 November 2011

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A web-based initiative led by researchers at INET@Oxford Martin School is providing crucial evidence to media, politicians and policy makers across the globe.

The World Top Incomes Database provides access to a wealth of data on the distribution of top incomes in more than twenty five countries across the globe.

Users can select different types of data to build their own graphs and charts in order to see how much of the nation’s income is held by the top 1% or more. The database has become an essential resource for analysts, policymakers and journalists seeking to understand global distributions of income.

Since its launch back in January, the world’s media has been quoting data from this web-based database, and extracting evidence which explains how the top 1% of income is distributed in each country. Website co-author and James Martin Fellow, Facundo Alvaredo has highlighted some of the key trends in the world’s top incomes:

  • Over the last 30 years top income shares have increased substantially in English-speaking countries, India and China but not in continental European countries or Japan.
  • Very large increases in compensation for top executives has accounted in part for their rise in incomes, particularly in the US
  • This century has seen top incomes move from the hands of the capital owners to include those of the top executives

The World Top Incomes Database is a result of collaboration between the Institute for New Economic Thinking @ Oxford Martin School, the Paris School of Economics, and the Center for Equitable Growth. With the help of 35 contributing authors around the world, the database aims to provide convenient on-line access to all the existing data on the dynamics on high incomes.

Find out more and read how the World Top Incomes Database has been quoted in the Guardian, Bloomberg Business Week, The New York Times, Forbes, Time and more…