Taking stock

Report for the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Commission

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There has been a growing appreciation in recent years that living standards are determined not just by income (the flow of money into a household) but also by wealth (the stock of assets a household owns). Wealth can take various forms: it can be held in financial instruments (for example, a savings account or as … Continued

Mapping gaps

Geographic inequality in productivity and living standards

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Regional inequality is a hot topic, particularly since the EU referendum exposed huge voting divides between London, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the rest of the UK. This report examines the relative economic performance of UK regions and nations since the 1960s, and the extent to which this has driven differences in household living standards.

An unexpected cut: Revisiting the Diamond Commission and assessing inequality in post-war Britain

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In 1974, the government established the Diamond Commision on the Distribution of Income and Wealth. This note looks at the Commission’s findings and considers how Britain has changed in the intervening years. It looks at the impact the findings had on policy and public debate in the country and reflects on what can be learnt by those trying to secure a more equal Britain today. This project was undertaken as part of the Historians in Residence programme, which is based at King’s College, London.

Opportunities Knocked? Exploring pay penalties among the UK’s ethnic minorities

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Over the past two decades ethnic minority groups have made substantial gains in relation to education and employment. But in spite of this progress, large pay gaps remain: even after accounting for education, occupation and other key factors, black male graduates are on average paid 17 per cent less than their white male counterparts; Pakistani/Bangladeshi non-graduate men are paid 14% less.

Diverse outcomes: living standards by ethnicity

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This briefing note looks at how typical household incomes have differed by ethnicity, given that around one fifth of the population self-report their ethnicity as something other than White British. While not an attempt to offer comprehensive analysis, we also explore some of the causes, including differences in the labour market, pointing to the need for further work.

As time goes by: shifting incomes and inequality between and within generations

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This is the Resolution Foundation’s fourth report for the Intergenerational Commission, which over the course of 2017 will examine issues of intergenerational fairness and make recommendations to strengthen the intergenerational social contract. This paper, building on previous work on the earnings of different generations, examines household income. Specifically, it looks both at changes in income … Continued

Living Standards 2017: the past, present and possible future of UK incomes

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This is the Resolution Foundation’s eighth annual state of the nation report on UK living standards. It comes at a time when the recovery from the last downturn is still incomplete for some, yet the threat of a new squeeze on living standards looms large. The financial crisis hit households hard, yet in the last … Continued

Hanging on: the stresses and strains of Britain’s ‘just managing’ families

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New governments have no record on which to be judged, meaning that a great deal of emphasis is placed on what they say. Our new Prime Minister has made it clear that her government will focus its attention on working families with relatively low earnings – those who are ‘just managing’. That approach has been … Continued

Living Standards 2016: The experiences of low to middle income households in downturn and recovery

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This is the Resolution Foundation’s seventh annual state of the nation report on living standards, and it is testament to the depth of the downturn that has gripped households since the financial crisis hit that average incomes only just appear to be returning to the level they were at when we published the first one in the series. In … Continued

A poverty of information: assessing the government’s new child poverty focus and future trends

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Measures announced at the Summer Budget are expected to significantly increase the number of children (and households) living in poverty (households with less than 60 per cent of median income). Despite positive action on low pay, cuts to working age benefits mean that most of this increase is expected to be among those living in … Continued

The squeezed middle: The pressure on ordinary workers in America and Britain

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As wages stagnate but living costs keep rising, the pressure on working people grows more intense. The issue of living standards has become one of the most urgent challenges for politicians in both Britain and America. ‘The squeezed middle’ brings together experts from both sides of the Atlantic to ask what the UK can learn … Continued

Why did Britain’s households get richer? Decomposing UK household income growth between 1968 and 2008–09?

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Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis for the Resolution Foundation Commission on Living Standards. Average UK household income has almost doubled in real terms over the past forty years. This report asks ‘From where has the growth in household income come?’ and answers this by analysing the various factors that have contributed to this growth. Although many … Continued

Why did Britain’s households get richer?

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This analysis by the IFS for Resolution Foundation is concerned with decomposing UK household income growth between 1968 and 2008–09. It seeks to investigate the sources of the rise in average household income that has occurred in the UK over the last four decades and finds that there are several important sources of this growth, and that these sources … Continued

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