November 15, 2018
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New paper on the evolution of wealth inequality in India ( working paper 2018/14)

This new paper by Nitin Kumar Bharti presents new findings on the evolution of wealth inequality in India between 1961 and 2012, and on its relationship with the Indian caste system. Data series related to this work are now available form

Relying on wealth surveys and millionaire lists, the paper throws light on the growing wealth concentration in India in recent decades, in line with recent research using income data: the top 10% wealth share rose from 45% in 1981 to 63% in 2012, while the top 1% rose from 13% to 31%. This article also underlines the role of the Indian caste system in wealth inequality, as it shows that past unequal distribution of wealth along caste lines has not been corrected yet. The situation of every caste has improved over time, but there has been no convergence between upper and lower castes, despite early positive discrimination policies towards lower castes.


Top 10% net personal wealth share, India, 1961-2012