Immigration and the Top 1 Percent

ZEW Discussion Paper
ZEW Discussion Paper

Immigration and the Top 1 Percent

We study the contribution of migrants to the rise in UK top incomes. Using administrative data on the universe of UK taxpayers, we show migrants are over-represented at the top of the income distribution, with migrants twice as prevalent in the top 0.01% as anywhere in the bottom 97%. These high incomes are predominantly from labour, rather than capital, and migrants are concentrated in only a handful of industries, predominantly finance. Almost all (90%) of the observed growth in the UK top 1% income share over the past 20 years has accrued to migrants.

Advani, Arun, Felix Koenig, Lorenzo Pessina and Andy Summers (2022), Immigration and the Top 1 Percent, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 22-061, Mannheim.

Authors Arun Advani // Felix Koenig // Lorenzo Pessina // Andy Summers