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20 Eur. J. Soc. Sec. 3 (2018)

handle is hein.journals/eujsocse20 and id is 1 raw text is: 




Article                                                                 EJSS

                                                                       European journal of Social Security
                                                                                 2018, Vol. 20(1) 3-20
 hat does it mean to be rich?2018
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Som       e   conceptual and                                            DOl: 10.1177/1388262718760911
                   empircal isuesjournals.sagepub.com/homnelejs
                                                                                        OSAGE



Pierre Concialdi*
IRES (Institut de recherches economiques et sociales), Noisy-le-Grand, France



Abstract
Over  the past decade, a growing literature has shed light on the rise of inequalities at the very top
of the income  distribution. There is no doubt that such extreme  inequalities do threaten social
cohesion and that some  public policies are needed in order to tackle this issue. The design of these
policies requires setting some benchmarks   that could serve, at least, as guidelines to promote
efforts towards the reduction  of inequalities. In the same way that the fight against poverty can
usefully benefit from researchers' efforts to define poverty, the fight against extreme inequalities
could also benefit from some definition of rich people. Nevertheless, very little attention has been
given to the definition of the rich in the academic literature. The purpose of the paper is to try to fill
this gap. It draws on previous definitions of an affluence line and proposes some estimates for three
countries (France, Ireland and the UK).


Keywords
Rich, poverty, affluence line, inequality, reference budgets



Introduction
Over  the past two decades, there has been a growing literature on 'top incomes'.' One of the main
findings of this research is that inequalities have not only been  rising quite sharply in many



1. Piketty's best seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century is probably the most prominent example of this literature.


* This article was awarded the SAGE/FISS prize for the best, previously unpublished paper presented at the 2017 FISS
Conference held in Sigtuna, Sweden.

Corresponding author:
Pierre Concialdi, IRES (Institut de recherches economiques et sociales), 16 Boulevard du Mont d'Est, 93192 Noisy-le-Grand
Cedex, France.
E-mails: pierre.concialdi@gmail.com; pierre.concialdi@ires.fr

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