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Top Income Shares: Political and Economic Determinants

  • Handelshögskolan vid Göteborgs universitet 1 Vasagatan Göteborg, Västra Götalands län, 411 24 Sweden (map)

Please join us for a stimulating keynote speech to kick off the conference Welfare, Inequality, and the Social Dimension in Europe, which will take place from 16-17 November at the University of Gothenburg.

‘Top Income Shares: Political and Economic Determinants’- Keynote Speech by Professor John D. Stephens, Centre for European Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA:

The rise of the super-rich has attracted much political and academic attention in recent years. However, there have been few attempts to explain the cross-national along with the temporal variation in the rise of top incomes. Drawing on the World Wealth and Income Database, we study the income share of the top 1% in almost all current postindustrial democracies from 1960 to 2012. We find that extreme income concentration at the top is a predominantly political phenomenon, not the result of increasing marginal productivity of top managers in markets of increasing size. Top income shares are largely unrelated to economic growth, increased knowledge-intensive production, export competitiveness, and wealth accumulation, though they are related to stock market capitalization and some measures of financialization. Instead, they are closely associated with political and policy changes some of which reflect a decline in the relative power of labor, such as union density and centralization, secular-right governments, top marginal tax rates, and investment in public tertiary education.

Location: SEB-salen, The School of Business, Economics and Law
Time: 12.00-14.00

Coffee and cake will follow the keynote speech, all are welcome to attend, no registration needed!

Later Event: November 17
Paneldebatt om EU-toppmötet