Andrew Leigh talks wealth inequality at NATSEM’s 20th birthday

06 March 2013: Dr Andrew Leigh MP will present the results from Top Wealth Shares in Australia, the first study to estimate Australian wealth inequality across the past century at the University of Canberra TONIGHT.

The Federal Member for Fraser and renowned economist will discuss these results at a lecture to celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of the University’s top research centres, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM).

NATSEM is one of Australia’s leading economic and social policy research institutes, and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost centres of excellence for microsimulation, economic modelling and policy evaluation.

In his lecture, Dr Leigh will talk about the results of his paper, co-authored with Dr Pamela Katic, which shows how wealth inequality has risen over time.

The document provides evidence of a substantial drop in inequality from 1915 to 1968, and then a significant rise, with the top one percent wealth share nearly doubling from 1979 to 2010.

“From 1915 to 1953, the top one percent share of wealth fell from 34 percent to 15 percent,” Dr Leigh said. “This was followed by a steady decline during the 1950s and 1960s.”

On the University’s research centre’s anniversary, NATSEM’s acting director, associate professor Robert Tanton said: “For 20 years, NATSEM has been a vital source of evidence-based research which has helped inform and shape economic and social policy across a wide range of areas of public policy in Australia and throughout the world.”

“We look forward to continuing to deliver high-quality research that contributes to the social and economic policy debate,” Dr Tanton said.

  • Dr Leigh is available for interview and a copy of the paper is available on request. 
  • Dr Tanton is also available for interview  

WHAT: Inaugural NATSEM Annual Lecture: Estimating top wealth shares in Australia over the past century, to be delivered by Dr Andrew Leigh MP
WHEN: Wednesday, 6 March 2013 | 5pm drinks for a 5:30pm start
WHERE: Ann Harding Conference Centre, Building 24, University of Canberra


Ed O’Daly         M: 0408 829 618 T: 02 6201 2441

Amanda Jones  M: 0408 826 362 T: 02 6201 5422