Wealth concentration in a developing economy : Paris and France, 1807-1994
AbstractUsing large samples of estate tax returns we construct new series on wealth concentration in Paris and France from 1807 to 1994. Wealth concentration in Paris and in France increased until World War I and then fell abruptly. The rise in inequality prior to WWI accelerated (rather than stabilized) during the 1860-1913 period. This was largely driven by the growth of large industrial and financial estates and coincided with the decline of aristocratic fortunes (until the 1840s, the share of aristocrats and real estate in top estates was actually rising). The decline in wealth concentration that followed World War I appears to have been prompted by the 1914-1945 shocks rather than by a two-sector, Kuznets-type process. Inequality fell both in Paris and in the rest of France. Finally, individuals who lived on capital income rather than active entrepreneurs were responsible for the very high levels of wealth concentration observed on the eve of World War I. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century top wealth holders were in their 70s and 80s, whereas they had been in their 50s in the early the nineteenth century and would be so again after WWII. These results shed new light on the ongoing debate about wealth inequality and growth in the presence of capital constraints.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA in its series Research Unit Working Papers with number 0504.
Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: INRA-LEA, 48, Boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris, France
Phone: 331 43136364
Fax: 331 43136362
Web page: http://www.inra.fr/Internet/Departements/ESR/UR/lea/index.html
wealth concentration; inequality;
Other versions of this item:
- Thomas Piketty & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, 2006. "Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807–1994," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 236-256, March.
- Piketty, Thomas & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Rosenthal, Jean Laurent, 2004. "Wealth Concentration in a Developing Economy: Paris and France, 1807-1994," CEPR Discussion Papers 4631, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
- N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative
- H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-06-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENT-2005-06-14 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-HIS-2005-06-14 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-PBE-2005-06-14 (Public Economics)
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.:
- Peter H. Lindert, .
"Three Centuries Of Inequality In Britain And America,"
Department of Economics
97-09, California Davis - Department of Economics.
- Lindert, Peter H., 2000. "Three centuries of inequality in Britain and America," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 167-216 Elsevier.
- Andrea Brandolini & Anthony B. Atkinson, 2001. "Promise and Pitfalls in the Use of "Secondary" Data-Sets: Income Inequality in OECD Countries As a Case Study," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 771-799, September.
- Lindert, Peter H, 1986. "Unequal English Wealth since 1670," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(6), pages 1127-62, December.
- A. B. Atkinson, 2005. "Top incomes in the UK over the 20th century," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(2), pages 325-343.
- Morrisson, Christian, 2000. "Historical perspectives on income distribution: The case of Europe," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 217-260 Elsevier.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Madeleine Roux) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Madeleine Roux to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.