Rising inequalities and the resulting gap between the 1 percent and the rest is a defining issue of our time with profound implications in terms of wellbeing.

A new academic study (“Top Incomes and Human Well-being Around the World”) has shown that as the share of income held by the top 1 percent continues to rise globally, it affects in a negative manner the wellbeing of the rest (the remaining 99 percent). In the words of Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (one of the co-authors): “As the top 1 percent races ahead, it seems to depress society across the board.”

This is one of the reasons why Scandinavian countries report higher levels of wellbeing: they redistribute wealth more equally through the tax system and welfare state. The research, which combines the latest data from the Gallup World Poll and the World Top Incomes Database, also found that the richest people experienced the most negative emotions.

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