Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Assets and Retirement: the French Experience, 1820-1940


Author Info

  • Jérôme Bourdieu

    (INRA-LEA, and INED)

  • Lionel Kesztenbaum

    (INRA-LEA, and INED)


Ever since the controversies on blue-collar workers' pensions in the mid-nineteenth century, the capacity of individuals to provide their own old-age insurance has been debated. Yesterday, workers were stigmatized for their improvidence and denied all pension rights. Today, there are calls for everyone to be free to build his or her own nest egg for old age. What was the real situation of those who reached old age in a period when there were few or no retirement pensions? Using individual asset data, we estimate the percentage of the population that had enough financial resources to live autonomously their last years of life. Life-cycle savings were highly insufficient to support the elderly in the nineteenth century. Not only workers and the lowest-skilled wage-earners but large groups among the French population did not possess enough assets to subsist in the final period of a life of labour and saving.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques in its journal Economie et Statistique.

Volume (Year): 417-418 (2009)
Issue (Month): (June)
Pages: 77-91.

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es417-418d

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 18 Boulevard Adolphe Pinard, 75675 Paris Cedex 14
Phone: 01 41 17 50 50
Web page:
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Ageing; Life Cycle; Pension; Savings; State Welfare; France 19th and 20th Century;

Find related papers by JEL classification:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Karen E. Dynan & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 2004. "Do the Rich Save More?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 397-444, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)



This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


Access and download statistics


When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es417-418d. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (D3E).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.