Follow us
Publications Commentary Research People Events News Resources and Videos About IFS
Home Publications Importing inequality: immigration and the top 1 percent

Importing inequality: immigration and the top 1 percent

Arun Advani, Felix Koenig, Lorenzo Pessina and Andy Summers
IFS Working Paper W20/31

In this paper we study the contribution of migrants to the rise in UK top incomes. Using administrative data on the universe of UK taxpayers we show migrants are over-represented at the top of the income distribution, with migrants twice as prevalent in the top 0.1% as anywhere in the bottom 97%. These high incomes are predominantly from labour, rather than capital, and migrants are concentrated in only a handful of industries, predominately finance. Almost all (85%) of the growth in the UK top 1% income share over the past 20 years can be attributed to migration.

Deaton inequality website

More on this topic

Press release
Most people say, when prompted, that they are concerned about inequalities. But the degree of concern is highly variable, and the concern is not matched by a consensus about what, if anything, government should do.
Presentation
Book chapter
This chapter lays out the reasons we have for objecting to certain differences between what individuals have and in how they relate to one another. Our aim is to show that there is a plurality of reasons to be concerned with such differences and not simply with the absolute amount that each ...
Book chapter
Perceptions of the extent and causes of inequalities are vitally important to the functioning of societies, economies and politics. If the public thinks that inequalities are large – and, crucially, that they are unfair – this can undermine faith in political and economic systems as a whole.
Presentation