The UK’s Global Economic Elite: A Sociological Analysis Using Tax Data
Arun Advani, David Burgherr, Mike Savage, Andy Summers (2022), CAGE Working Paper 570.
We show the importance of international ties amongst the UK’s global economic elite, by exploiting administrative data derived from tax records. We show how this data can be used to shed light on the kind of transnational dynamics which have long been hypothesised to be of major significance in the UK, but which have previously proved intractable to systematic study. Our work reveals the enduring and distinctive influence of long-term imperial forces, especially to the former ‘white settler’ ex-dominions which have been called the ‘anglosphere’. These are allied to more recent currents associated with European integration and the rise of Asian economic power. Here there are especially strong ties to the ‘old EU-6’ nations of France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Italy. The incredible detail and universal coverage of our data means that we can study those at the very top with a level of granularity that would be impossible using traditional survey sources. We find compelling support for the public perception that non-doms are disproportionately highly affluent individuals who can be viewed as a part of a global elite. However, whilst there is some evidence for the stereotype of the global wealthy parking themselves in the UK, this underplays the significance of the working rich. Our analysis also reveals the remarkable concentration of non-doms in central areas of London.
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