Inherited vs self-made wealth: Theory & evidence from a rentier society (Paris 1872–1927)
We divide decedents into two groups: “rentiers" (whose wealth is smaller than the capitalized value of their inherited wealth) and “savers” (who consumed less than their labor income). Applying this split to a unique micro data set on inheritance and matrimonial property regimes, we find that Paris from 1872 to 1927 was a “rentier society”. Rentiers made up about 10% of the population of Parisians but owned 70% of aggregate wealth. Rentier societies thrive when the rate of return on private wealth r is larger than the growth rate g (say, r=4% vs g=2%). This was the case in the 19th and early 20th centuries and is likely to happen again in the 21st century. At the time, top successors’ capital income sustains living standards far beyond what labor income alone would permit.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Thomas Piketty, 2010.
"On the long-run evolution of inheritance: France 1820-2050,"
PSE Working Papers
- Thomas Piketty, 2011. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Inheritance: France 1820--2050," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1071-1131.
- Thomas Piketty, 2011. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Inheritance: France 1820-2050," Post-Print halshs-00754528, HAL.
- Piketty, Thomas, 2010. "On the Long Run Evolution of Inheritance - France 1820-2050," CEPR Discussion Papers 7854, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Modigliani, Franco, 1985.
"Life Cycle, Individual Thrift and the Wealth of Nations,"
Nobel Prize in Economics documents
1985-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
- Modigliani, Franco, 1986. "Life Cycle, Individual Thrift, and the Wealth of Nations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 297-313, June.
- repec:nbr:nberbk:lamp62-1 is not listed on IDEAS
- Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2009.
"Top Incomes in the Long Run of History,"
NBER Working Papers
15408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Le Bris, David & Hautcœur, Pierre-Cyrille, 2010.
"A challenge to triumphant optimists? A blue chips index for the Paris stock exchange, 1854–2007,"
Financial History Review,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(02), pages 141-183, October.
- David Le Bris & Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur, 2009. "A challenge to triumphant optimists? A blue chips index for the Paris Stock-Exchange (1854-2007)," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586765, HAL.
- David Le Bris & Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur, 2010. "A challenge to triumphant optimists? A blue chips index for the Paris Stock-Exchange (1854-2007)," Post-Print hal-00468209, HAL.
- Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988.
"Intergenerational Transfers and Savings,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
- Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2006.
"Wealth Inequality: Data and Models,"
NBER Working Papers
12550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981.
"The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
- Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Modigliani, Franco, 1988. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers and Life Cycle Saving in the Accumulation of Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 15-40, Spring.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:51:y:2014:i:c:p:21-40. 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: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.