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Public attitudes to inequality and wealth in the UK, 2006-2007

This project, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, provided a comprehensive and critical review of the literature on public attitudes to inequality and wealth in the UK. Economic inequality is now a marked feature of the socio-economic structure of the UK and is the subject of increasing attention. Our current understanding of public attitudes towards inequality, however, draws on a relatively narrow range of sources and the evidence from these contains ambiguities. These ambiguities and apparent gaps in our knowledge merited further examination which the literature review provided.

Research Report:

Orton, M. and Rowlingson, K. (2007) Public attitudes to economic inequality. York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Related IER research and publications

Income Inequality: making sense of British social attitudes

Orton, M. and Rowlingson, K. (2007) ‘A problem of riches: towards a new social policy research agenda on the distribution of economic resources’ Journal of Social Policy 36 (1) 59-78.

Orton, M. (2006) ‘Wealth, citizenship and responsibility: the views of better off citizens in the UK’ Citizenship Studies 10 (2) 251-265.

Orton, M. (2008) ‘State approaches to wealth’ in T. Ridge and S. Wright (eds.) Understanding inequality, poverty and wealth Bristol: The Policy Press, pp 259-282.

IER Researcher:

Michael Orton


Karen Rowlingson (University of Birmingham)