Would a wealth tax work?

Dr. Arun Advani

Societies are becoming more economically unequal over the last 50 years. The wealthiest 10% of households now hold 43% of all the wealth in Great Britain. Should we tax wealth? And if so, how?

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Private wealth in major economies like the UK and US, has been growing substantially over time. Wealth is harder to measure than income but by any measure of wealth, it has risen over the past 70 years. Average adult private wealth in the UK now hovers around £180,000 but as wealth accumulates over a lifetime, a higher proportion of wealth now sits with the over 65s. Intergenerational inequality is a ticking timebomb.

How should we think about taxing wealth and what are the unintended consequences that a wealth tax would create for society?

Arun Advani is an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the University of Warwick, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and a Visiting Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute. An expert in studying inequality, tax compliance, and tax design, with a particular focus on those with high incomes or wealth, he is also a Commissioner for the Wealth Tax Commission. In this Garden Talk, Arun will discuss the arguments for and against a wealth tax and share his views on how to reduce inequality in society through fiscal policy.

Talk outline


50 minutes


Unequal Society

About the Fellow

Dr. Arun Advani

Arun Advani is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick, UK.

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Unequal Society Collection

Our societies are becoming more economically unequal, but what can we do about it? Join the director and researchers of the IFS to discuss what needs to be done, and what's possible, to build a better future