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Intergenerational Mobility of Household Assets in France in the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries


Author Info

  • Jérôme Bourdieu

    (Paris School of Economics (INRA) and EHESS)

  • Gilles Postel-Vinay

    (Paris School of Economics (INRA) and EHESS)

  • Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann

    (Paris School of Economics (INRA) and EHESS)


The increase in inequality observed in developed countries for the past 25 years fits into a longer-term pattern. In France, wage inequality remained broadly stable in the twentieth century, while wealth inequality diminished after the two world wars and the 1929 crisis, before rising again recently. Mobility in Europe-both in social terms and in income terms-resembles that observed in the United States. By using a French historical individual and family data base, we can analyze intergenerational wealth mobility in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Intergenerational wealth mobility, if measured only for the population that left a bequest, was close to the income mobility estimated for recent years. This apparent stability hides a variation over time: mobility decreased during the Belle Époque (1895-1913), then rose after the First World War, and was not the same at different points of the distribution.

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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: 173-189.

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Handle: RePEc:crs:ecosta:es417-418i

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Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility; Wealth Distribution;

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