How unequal is the Netherlands?

The WRR Investigation ‘How unequal is the Netherlands?’ (Hoe ongelijk is Nederland?) explores differentials in income, wages and assets in the Netherlands.

Economic inequality is high on the international agenda. Reference is often made to the United States, where differentials have grown to enormous proportions in recent decades. There is no simple answer to the question of how unequal the Netherlands is. This Investigation maps the differentials in income, wages and assets in the Netherlands, as well as the potential consequences of economic inequality. What does a high degree of inequality imply for the chances of social mobility and trust between people and in politics? And could growing income inequality boost or depress economic growth?


The Investigation is published in conjunction with the factsheet Economische ongelijkheid in 8 figuren (‘Economic inequality in eight figures’) (in Dutch).

Debate in De Balie

This WRR Investigation comprises contributions from Paul de Beer, Wiemer Salverda, Bas van Bavel, Herman van de Werfhorst and Robert Went, as well as an interview with Richard Wilkinson. It is edited by Monique Kremer, Mark Bovens, Erik Schrijvers and Robert Went. Together with the authors, the WRR will engage with representatives of the world of politics as well as employers’ and employees’ representatives  in a debate in De Balie in Amsterdam on 5 June.

Hoe ongelijk is Nederland? Een verkenning van de ontwikkeling en gevolgen van economische ongelijkheid, WRR Investigation 28 can be downloaded in Dutch from this site and may be ordered from Amsterdam University Press.