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Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Piketty

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Gabriel Zucman

    (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

This chapter offers an overview of the empirical and theoretical research on the long-run evolution of wealth and inheritance. Wealth–income ratios, inherited wealth, and wealth inequalities were high in the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries up until World War I, then sharply dropped during the twentieth century following World War shocks, and have been rising again in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. We discuss the models that can account for these facts. We show that over a wide range of models, the long-run magnitude and concentration of wealth and inheritance are an increasing function of image where image is the net-of-tax rate of return on wealth and g is the economy's growth rate. This suggests that current trends toward rising wealth–income ratios and wealth inequality might continue during the twenty-first century, both because of the slowdown of population and productivity growth, and because of rising international competition to attract capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2015. "Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-01109067, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-01109067
    DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-444-59429-7.00016-9
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-01109067
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    wealth–income ratios; inherited wealth; wealth inequalities;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

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