A report examined the potential economic impact of an immediate increase in the national minimum wage by £1.50 per hour in the United Kingdom, drawing on the 2011-12 Family Resources Survey and the IPPR/Landman Economics tax-benefit model. It said that the increase would benefit around 4.6 million workers, 60 percent of whom were women, and that the increase would be distributionally progressive, would improve the public finances, and could create jobs through stimulating the economy.
Source: Howard Reed, The Economic Impact of a £1.50/hour Increase in the National Minimum Wage, Unite
A paper examined the roles that taxes and transfers played in redistributing resources and providing insurance across individuals and across the lifecycle, with a focus on results for women.
Source: Jonathan Shaw, The Redistribution and Insurance Value of Welfare Reform, Working Paper W14/21, Institute for Fiscal Studies
A think-tank report said that the United Kingdom government should act to address the problem of inequality, through two key steps: to set a tangible target to reduce economic inequality; and to establish a high-level commission on economic inequality to develop a broad policy agenda. The report identified five high-level policy goals: for universal provision of high quality, affordable childcare; to narrow the wages gap; to ensure access to careers with opportunities for progression and skills development; to create good jobs for all; and to develop a fairer, more progressive system of taxation.
Source: Helen Kersley and Faiza Shaheen, Addressing Economic Inequality at Root: 5 goals for a fairer UK, New Economics Foundation
An article examined whether (and to what extent) direct taxes and social transfers had contributed to recent widening in income inequalities in developed countries. Tax-benefit systems were found to have offset two-thirds of the average increase in primary income inequality. Old age pensions provided by the state accounted for 60 per cent of the increase in redistribution, 'social assistance' accounted for 20 per cent, and direct taxes accounted for 16 per cent.
Source: Chen Wang, Koen Caminada, and Kees Goudswaard, 'Income redistribution in 20 countries over time', International Journal of Social Welfare, Volume 23 Issue 3
A think-tank report examined possibilities for a measurement of earnings that included the self-employed. The report said that, at some points in time, calculations of average earnings levels that included self-employed workers would have been higher, but since the economic downturn they would have been consistently lower and the inclusion of self-employed earnings would worsen the figures on earnings levels since the pre-recession peak by between 20 and 30 per cent. The report called for an improved official measure of earnings that captured all workers, and the collection of better data that included more regular, accurate data on household income.
Source: Laura Gardiner, All Accounted For: The case for an 'all worker' earnings measure, Resolution Foundation
A think-tank report said that the United Kingdom still lacked an effective strategy for dealing with the issue of low paid work, and suggested a strategic framework for a co-ordinated low pay strategy, which explicitly aimed to reduce the share of low-wage jobs in the United Kingdom economy based on three actions: raising wage floors; enabling progression; and facilitating higher wage business models.
Source: Kathryn Ray, Beth Foley, and Ceri Hughes, Rising to the Challenge: A policy agenda to tackle low pay, Work Foundation
A report examined the impact in Wales of the personal tax and benefit reforms implemented, or due to be implemented, by the United Kingdom's coalition government from May 2010 up to and including April 2015.
Source: David Phillips, The Distributional Effects of the UK Government's Tax and Welfare Reforms in Wales: An update, Briefing Note 150, Institute for Fiscal Studies
A paper examined the redistributive effects of different systems of direct taxes and cash benefits in the member states of the European Union using EUROMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for the EU.
Source: Silvia Avram, Horacio Levy, and Holly Sutherland, Income Redistribution in the European Union, EUROMOD
A paper examined the relationship between disability and household wealth holdings in the United Kingdom. It said that people with disabilities had substantially lower household wealth, and components of wealth (property, financial, pension, physical), than non-disabled people. However, the average differences were found to mask important lifecycle patterns, such as the life stage at which disability occurred.
Source: Abigail McKnight, Disabled People's Financial Histories: Uncovering the disability wealth-penalty, CASE/181, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (London School of Economics)
A paper examined the literature on income mobility within and between generations, considering mobility concepts, descriptive devices, measurement methods, data sources, and recent empirical evidence.
Source: Markus Jantti and Stephen Jenkins, Income Mobility, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality
A report examined the financial well-being of middle income households coming out of the economic downturn, drawing on data from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society to track specific households over time. It said that middle income households had shown 'remarkable resilience', increasing income through work and reducing expenditure. It noted the potential future impact of mortgage rate increases.
Source: Nida Broughton, Onyinye Ezeyi, and Claudia Hupkau, Riders on the Storm: Britain's middle income households since 2007, Social Market Foundation
A paper provided a summary of evidence about long-run changes in economic inequality (primarily income, earnings, and wealth) for 25 countries, including the United Kingdom.
Source: Anthony Atkinson and Salvatore Morelli, Chartbook of Economic Inequality, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality
An article examined the relationship between income inequality and the values that people endorsed in developed (OECD) countries. It investigated the following dimensions of value systems: work ethic, civism, obedience, honesty, altruism, and tolerance. It said that, in most cases, no robust relation with income inequality was detected, but there was some evidence that larger income disparities were associated with a stronger work ethic. This suggested that income inequality might spur hard work not only through pecuniary incentives but also because it made people attach a symbolic value to work.
Source: Giacomo Corneo and Frank Neher, 'Income inequality and self-reported values', Journal of Economic Inequality, Volume 12 Number 1
A report examined low paid work in the United Kingdom, considering skills gaps across occupations, sectors where low pay was most prevalent, and the case for state intervention. The report recommended a skills-based in-work progression policy to help increase pay, improve productivity, and reduce the level of in-work benefits paid.
Source: Nigel Keohane and Claudia Hupkau, Making Progress: Boosting the skills and wage prospects of the low paid, Social Market Foundation
A think-tank published its final report on its review of the national minimum wage in the United Kingdom. It made recommendations for the government to take a longer term approach to setting the level, and to reform the process. It discussed the possibilities for a multi-level minimum, to vary by sector or location.
Source: More Than a Minimum: The final report, Resolution Foundation
An article examined low pay persistence in Europe, drawing on panel data for the period 1994–2001. Poorly paid workers tended to stay low paid in many European countries. Although this partly reflected workers' characteristics, it said that a significant proportion was genuine low pay persistence – that is, causal in nature. The extent of low pay persistence did not seem to be systematically related to labour market institutions.
Source: Ken Clark and Nikolaos Kanellopoulos, 'Low pay persistence in Europe', Labour Economics, Volume 23
An article examined the intertemporal distribution of income in 26 European Union countries prior to the onset of the global economic recession, using EU-SILC data for 2003-2007. New member states had typically seen individual incomes grow faster than other countries. Income gains had been disproportionately pro-poor in all countries. There had therefore been a regression to the mean both among EU countries and among individuals within countries. However, short-run income mobility had not significantly reduced inequality of time-averaged incomes.
Source: Philippe Van Kerm and Maria Noel Pi Alperin, 'Inequality, growth and mobility: the intertemporal distribution of income in European countries 2003-2007', Economic Modelling, Volume 35
A paper examined survey data on the incomes and living costs of young people in the United Kingdom. It said that their average incomes had fallen while those of the 'baby-boomer' generation had risen strongly, with the gap between the wages of under 21 year olds and the over 50s having risen by over 50 per cent since 1997. The paper said that there had been a contemporaneous increase in living costs due to rising rents, energy prices, and transport costs. It noted the potential long-term implications and called for a policy response.
Source: David Kingman and Ashley Seager, Squeezed Youth: The intergenerational pay gap and the cost of living crisis, Intergenerational Foundation
An article examined the relationship between income inequality and access to housing for low-income home-owners and renters 'at market rent' across Europe. Higher income inequality increased the likelihood of affordability problems for low-income renters. There was a positive relation between inequality and crowding. Higher income inequality was associated with lower housing quality.
Source: Caroline Dewilde and Bram Lancee, 'Income inequality and access to housing in Europe', European Sociological Review, Volume 29 Number 6
An article examined the relationship between residential socio-economic status and quality of life in England.
Source: Josep Campanera, Alexandre Nobajas, and Paul Higgins, 'The relationship between residential quality of life and socioeconomic status in England', Urban Affairs Review, Volume 50 Number 1
A think-tank report examined the effects of workplace inequality. It said that workplaces with larger pay gaps between the highest and lowest paid experienced higher levels of discontent and lower levels of employee well-being, indicating a clear economic and business case for more equal pay distribution within organizations.
Source: The High Cost of High Pay: An analysis of pay inequality within firms, High Pay Centre
A paper examined the impact of independence on fiscal policy to reduce inequality in Scotland. It discussed inequality reduction in the context of different constitutional options and said that, while Scottish independence would result in a full range of fiscal powers, using fiscal policy alone would have a relatively low impact on reducing inequality.
Source: David Comerford and David Eiser, Constitutional Change and Inequality in Scotland, University of Sterling/ESRC
An article examined income inequalities in Japan and the United Kingdom. The findings suggested that the UK was much more unequal than Japan in terms of income distribution.
Source: Dimitris Ballas, Danny Dorling, Tomoki Nakaya, Helena Tunstall, and Kazumasa Hanaoka, 'Income inequalities in Japan and the UK: a comparative study of two island economies', Social Policy and Society, Volume 13 Issue 1
A report examined trends in the numbers of United Kingdom households living below the minimum income standard (MIS) threshold up to early 2012, based on the data from the Family Resources Survey. It said that there had been an overall deterioration in living standards, with the proportion of people in households below MIS having increased by one fifth between 2008/9 and 2011/12. Single people of working age had seen the largest increase, especially for those under 35, and two thirds of people in lone parent families were said to be living below the MIS.
Source: Matt Padley and Donald Hirsch, Households Below a Minimum Income Standard: 2008/9 to 2011/12, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
A paper set out a proposal for the introduction of a basic income in a post-independence Scotland, to provide all citizens with a minimum level of income. The paper included arguments for an integrated and simplified system of tax and benefits, with a pro-family approach, universal entitlements, and a constitution for Scotland.
Source: Simon Duffy and John Dalrymple, Basic Income Security: A constitutional right for all Scotland's citizens, Centre for Welfare Reform