IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/pseptp/halshs-01511115.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the Share of Inheritance in Aggregate Wealth: Europe and the USA, 1900–2010

Author

Listed:
  • Facundo Alvaredo

    (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, CONICET - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas [Buenos Aires])

  • Bertrand Garbinti

    (Centre de recherche de la Banque de France - Banque de France, CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Thomas Piketty

    (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - 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, 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)

Abstract

This paper provides historical series on the evolution of the share of inherited wealth in aggregate private wealth in Europe (France, the UK, Germany, Sweden) and the USA over the 1900–2010 period. Until 1910, the inheritance share was very high in Europe (70–80%). It then fell abruptly following the 1914–45 shocks, down to about 30–40% during the 1950–80 period, and is back to 50–60% (and rising) since around 2010. The US pattern also appears to be U-shaped, albeit less marked, and with significant uncertainty regarding recent trends, due to data limitations. We discuss possible interpretations for these long-run patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Facundo Alvaredo & Bertrand Garbinti & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "On the Share of Inheritance in Aggregate Wealth: Europe and the USA, 1900–2010," PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris (Postprint) halshs-01511115, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-01511115
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01511115
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2018. "Wealth and inheritance in Britain from 1896 to the present," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 137-169, June.
    2. Piketty, Thomas & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2014. "Inherited vs self-made wealth: Theory & evidence from a rentier society (Paris 1872–1927)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 21-40.
    3. Edward Wolff & Maury Gittleman, 2014. "Inheritances and the distribution of wealth or whatever happened to the great inheritance boom?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(4), pages 439-468, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700–2010," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1255-1310.
    9. Piketty, Thomas & Zucman, Gabriel, 2014. "Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 10072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Lena Edlund & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2009. "Women, Wealth, and Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 146-178, March.
    11. Laitner, John, 2001. "Secular Changes in Wealth Inequality and Inheritance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(474), pages 691-721, October.
    12. Ohlsson, Henry & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2014. "Inherited wealth over the path of development: Sweden, 1810–2010," Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies 2014:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    13. Saez, Emmanuel & Zucman, Gabriel, 2014. "Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 10227, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. repec:cep:sticas:/178 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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 706-732, August.
    16. Karagiannaki, Eleni, 2011. "Recent trends in the size and the distribution of inherited wealth in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43868, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Lena Edlund & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2009. "Corrigendum: Women, Wealth, and Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1082-1082, June.
    18. repec:cep:sticas:/146 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Kotlikoff, Laurence J, 1988. "Intergenerational Transfers and Savings," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 41-58, Spring.
    20. Steven N. Kaplan & Joshua D. Rauh, 2013. "Family, Education, and Sources of Wealth among the Richest Americans, 1982-2012," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 158-162, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Adrian Adermon & Mikael Lindahl & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and the Role of Inheritance: Evidence from Multiple Generations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 482-513, July.
    2. Mauricio De Rosa, 2022. "Accumulation, inheritance and wealth distribution: first estimates of the untold half," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 22-07, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
    3. Alvaredo, Facundo & Garbinti, Bertrand & Piketty, Thomas, "undated". "On the Share of Inheritance in Aggregate Wealth Europe and the United States, 1900-2010," INET Oxford Working Papers 2015-07, Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.
    4. von Werder, Marten, 2018. "Intergenerational transfers: How do they shape the German wealth distribution?," Discussion Papers 2018/15, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    5. Korom, Philipp, 2016. "Inherited advantage: The importance of inheritance for private wealth accumulation in Europe," MPIfG Discussion Paper 16/11, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    6. Ohlsson, Henry & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2014. "Inherited Wealth over the Path of Development: Sweden, 1810–2010," Working Paper Series 1033, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    7. Anita Tiefensee & Christian Westermeier, 2016. "Intergenerational Transfers and Wealth in the Euro-Area: The Relevance of Inheritances and Gifts in Absolute and Relative Terms," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1556, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.
    9. Piketty, Thomas & Postel-Vinay, Gilles & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2014. "Inherited vs self-made wealth: Theory & evidence from a rentier society (Paris 1872–1927)," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 21-40.
    10. Corneo, Giacomo G. & Bönke, Timm & Westermeier, Christian, 2016. "Erbschaft und Eigenleistung im Vermögen der Deutschen: eine Verteilungsanalyse," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 35-53.
    11. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 17-30.
    12. Frémeaux, Nicolas & Leturcq, Marion, 2018. "Prenuptial agreements and matrimonial property regimes in France, 1855–2010," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 132-142.
    13. Piketty, Thomas & Zucman, Gabriel, 2014. "Wealth and Inheritance in the Long Run," CEPR Discussion Papers 10072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Marius Brülhart & Didier Dupertuis & Elodie Moreau, 2018. "Inheritance flows in Switzerland, 1911–2011," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 154(1), pages 1-13, December.
    15. Piketty Thomas, 2015. "Capital, Inequality and Justice: Reflections on Capital in the Twenty-First Century," Basic Income Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, June.
    16. Caballé, Jordi & Moro-Egido, Ana I., 2021. "Do aspirations reduce differences in wealth accumulation?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    17. Stefan Humer & Mathias Moser & Matthias Schnetzer, 2017. "Inheritances and the Accumulation of Wealth in the Eurozone," ICAE Working Papers 73, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    18. Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Thomas Piketty, 2016. "Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France (1800-2014)," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-02794339, HAL.
    19. Anthony B. Atkinson, 2018. "Wealth and inheritance in Britain from 1896 to the present," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 137-169, June.
    20. Bönke, Timm & Werder, Marten v. & Westermeier, Christian, 2017. "How inheritances shape wealth distributions: An international comparison," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 217-220.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inherited wealth;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:pseptp:halshs-01511115. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Caroline Bauer (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.