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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article surveys the distribution of wealth and its relationship to economic inequality more broadly. It shows that wealth inequality is high and contributes significantly to inequality in income and consumption, although higher wealth inequality is not always an indicator of greater inequality in well-being. In particular, welfare state policies can improve the well-being of low income groups while at the same time reducing their incentive to save. This may lead to high observed wealth inequality in places where it would otherwise not be expected, such as some of the Scandinavian countries. More research is needed to better illuminate such connections between public policy and wealth inequality.

Keywords: income inequality, consumption inequality, welfare states, low income groups, Scandinavia, public policy

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