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Where have (almost) all the wealthy gone? Spatial decomposition of wealth trends in France, 1820-1939

Author

Listed:
  • Jérôme Bourdieu

    (Paris School of Economics, INRA, Paris)

  • Marta Menéndez

    () (Université Paris-Dauphine, Paris et Paris School of Economics, INRA)

  • Gilles Postel-Vinay

    (Paris School of Economics, INRA et EHESS, Paris)

  • Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann

    (Paris School of Economics, INRA, Paris)

Abstract

This paper examines the evolution of wealth distribution in France during the urbanization process of the nineteenth century, based on a comprehensive dataset of individual inheritances. It presents a spatial decomposition between rural and urban areas, distinguishing Paris from other cities. We use a non-parametric approach based on wealth density functions. Changes in the level of wealth explained most of the spatial evolution of wealth during 1820-1939; at the turn of the century however, the effect of urbanization on wealth distribution increased gradually.

Suggested Citation

  • Jérôme Bourdieu & Marta Menéndez & Gilles Postel-Vinay & Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann, 2008. "Where have (almost) all the wealthy gone? Spatial decomposition of wealth trends in France, 1820-1939," Review of Agricultural and Environmental Studies - Revue d'Etudes en Agriculture et Environnement, INRA Department of Economics, vol. 87(2), pages 5-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:rae:jourae:v:87:y:2008:i:2:p:5-25
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    2. Stephen Jenkins & Philippe Kerm, 2005. "Accounting for income distribution trends: A density function decomposition approach," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 3(1), pages 43-61, April.
    3. Esteban, Joan & Ray, Debraj, 1994. "On the Measurement of Polarization," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 819-851, July.
    4. 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.
    5. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Jantti, Markus, 2005. "Methods for summarizing and comparing wealth distributions," ISER Working Paper Series 2005-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    6. Kakwani, Nanak, 1993. "Poverty and Economic Growth with Application to Cote d'Ivoire," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 121-139, June.
    7. Ravallion, M. & Datt, G., 1991. "Growth and Redistribution Components of Changes in Poverty Measures," Papers 83, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wealth distribution; decomposition; semi-parametric and nonparametric methods;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure

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