Inequality in Income and Wealth in Switzerland from 1970 to 2010

Fluder, Robert; Fritschi, Tobias; Hümbelin, Oliver; Farys, Rudolf; Jann, Ben (28 June 2013). Inequality in Income and Wealth in Switzerland from 1970 to 2010 (Unpublished). In: Plenary session on "Recent Developments in Economic Inequality" at the SSA Congress 2013. University of Bern. 26.-28.06.2013.

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The supposed rise of inequality in income and wealth is a much-discussed issue. Since in a number of industrialized countries a trend towards more inequality was observed over the last decades, it is often assumed that Switzerland has experienced a similar development. Yet, although a variety of studies exists that provide inequality estimates for the Swiss society at different points in time, no conclusive picture of the changes in inequality can be drawn from these studies. For example, recent estimates by the Swiss Federal Statistical Office indicate that – against expectations – inequality in disposable equivalent-incomes has not risen since the end of the 1990ies, whereas other studies indicate that earnings from employment – especially top salaries – have become more unequal. The reasons for the inconclusive picture are manifold. For example, trends might have been different for different income types and results might strongly depend on the quality of the used data. To close the knowledge gap in inequality research in Switzerland a new Swiss National Science Foundation project by the University of Bern and the Bern University of Applied Sciences has been started in 2013. Individual tax data from cantons will be analyzed along with aggregate data from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration, covering a period from the early 1970ies to the present. The goal is to gain a systematic overview of the development of inequality in income and wealth in Switzerland as a whole and within cantons, and to determine how changes can be explained. In our talk we will present first results from this project.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Farys, Rudolf and Jann, Ben


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Ben Jann

Date Deposited:

23 May 2014 16:07

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2015 09:07




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