Inequality and the Top 10% in Europe

Most research on inequality tends to focus either on the very top – the global elite and top 1% – or the very bottom – those bearing the brunt of the worst effects of inequality. However, relatively little attention is paid to the relatively well-off, the top 10% of income earners. 

Working closely with three other think tanks, FEPS and TASC are leading a comparative research project on the composition and views on economic inequality of the top 10% of income earners in Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK through in-depth interviews and survey analysis. 

We compare the characteristics of – and policies affecting – high-income earners in these countries to inform debates on meritocracy, taxation, and welfare. 

We find that even if, as the literature suggests, this group is less likely than the rest to favour redistribution, fears of runaway cost of living, downward social mobility, and a growing gap between the top 10% and top 1% could open a space for greater support of progressive policies.

This report will be launched in May 2020. You will be able to access the full report on our publications page.  


Key Researcher
Marcos González Hernando , FEPS TASC Researcher on the ‘Top 10%’ in Europe

Current Research
Marcos’ current research is on the composition, social attitudes, and conduits for political participation of the richest 10% of the income and wealth distribution in Ireland, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Through a mixed-method comparative approach, the ultimate aim of this project is to propose policies at the local, national, and European level that might be able to increase the level of social solidarity of this segment and help confront inequalities without its opposition.