IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hal/wpaper/halshs-00587714.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Income and wealth concentration in Spain in a historical and fiscal perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Facundo Alvaredo

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

  • Emmanuel Saez

    (LBNL - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory [Berkeley])

Abstract

This paper presents series on top shares of income and wealth in Spain over the 20th century using personal income and wealth tax return statistics. Top income shares are highest in the 1930s, fall sharply during the first two decades of the Franco dictatorship, and have increased slightly since the 1960s, and especially since the mid-1990s. The top 0.01% income share in Spain estimated from income tax data is comparable to estimates for the United States and France over the period 1933-1971. Those findings, along with a careful analysis of all published tax statistics, suggest that income tax evasion and avoidance among top income earners in Spain before 1980 was much less prevalent than previously thought. Wealth concentration has been about stable from 1982 to 2004 as surging real estate prices have benefited the middle class and compensated for a slight increase in financial wealth concentration in the 1990s. We use our wealth series and a simple conceptual model to analyse the effects of the wealth tax exemption of stocks for ownersmanagers introduced in 1994. We show that the reform induced substantial shifting from the taxable to tax exempt status. This shifting has eroded the wealth tax base substantially and hence the tax exemption has generated large efficiency costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Facundo Alvaredo & Emmanuel Saez, 2007. "Income and wealth concentration in Spain in a historical and fiscal perspective," Working Papers halshs-00587714, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00587714
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00587714
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00587714/document
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
    2. Marta González-Torrabadella & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2006. "Flat tax reforms: a general equilibrium evaluation for Spain," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 30(2), pages 317-351, May.
    3. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2006. "Growth, inequality, and poverty in Spain, 1850-2000: evidence and speculation," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp06-04, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    4. Simon Kuznets & Elizabeth Jenks, 1953. "Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (1953)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn53-1.
    5. Gradin, Carlos, 2000. "Polarization by Sub-populations in Spain, 1973-91," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 457-474, December.
    6. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    7. Slemrod, Joel, 1995. "Income Creation or Income Shifting? Behavioral Responses to the Tax Reform Act of 1986," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 175-180, May.
    8. Chiaki Moriguchi & Emmanuel Saez, 2008. "The Evolution of Income Concentration in Japan, 1886-2005: Evidence from Income Tax Statistics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 713-734, November.
    9. Roger H. Gordon & Joel Slemrod, 1998. "Are "Real" Responses to Taxes Simply Income Shifting Between Corporate and Personal Tax Bases?," NBER Working Papers 6576, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Prados de la Escosura Leandro, 2003. "El progreso económico de España (1850-2000)," Books, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation, edition 1, number 201136, December.
    11. Francisco J. Goerlich & Matilde Mas, 2001. "Inequality in Spain, 1973‐91: Contribution to a Regional Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 361-378, September.
    12. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2006. "Growth and structural change in Spain, 1850-2000," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp06-05, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    13. Emmanuel Saez & Michael R. Veall, 2005. "The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from Canadian Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 831-849, June.
    14. de la Escosura, Leandro Prados, 2007. "Growth and structural change in Spain, 1850–2000: a european perspective+," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 147-181, January.
    15. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
    16. Goerlich, Francisco José & Mas, Matilde, 2004. "Distribución personal de la renta en España. 1973-2001 [Personal income distribution in Spain. 1973-2001]," MPRA Paper 15830, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2004.
    17. James M. Poterba, 1993. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote93-1.
    18. Santiago Budría & Javier Díaz-Giménez, 2007. "Economic inequality in Spain: the european community household panel dataset," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 1-38, March.
    19. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "Inequality, poverty, and the Kuznets curve In Spain, 1850-2000," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-13, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    20. Marta Pascual & José María Sarabia, "undated". "Factores Determinantes De La Distribución Personal De La Renta: Un Estudio Empírico A Partir Del Phogue," Working Papers 15-04 Classification-JEL , Instituto de Estudios Fiscales.
    21. Emmanuel Saez, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 205-229.
    22. Juan Mora & Antonia Febrer, 2005. "Wage Distribution In Spain, 1994-1999: An Application Of A Flexible Estimator Of Conditional Distributions," Working Papers. Serie EC 2005-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    23. Javier Ruiz Castillo & Mercedes Sastre García, 1998. "Desigualdad y bienestar en España en términos reales," Documentos de trabajo de la Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales 98-08, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales.
    24. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 1998. "A Simplified Model for Social Welfare Analysis: An Application to Spain, 1973-74 to 1980-81," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 123-141, March.
    25. Thomas Piketty, 2003. "Income Inequality in France, 1901-1998," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(5), pages 1004-1042, October.
    26. Coral del Rio & Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2001. "Accounting for the decline in Spanish household expenditures inequality during the 1980s," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 151-175.
    27. Goerlich, Francisco J & Mas, Matilde, 2001. "Inequality in Spain 1973-91: Contribution to a Regional Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 361-378, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Desigualdad de ingresos: su evolución en 100 años de historia
      by Kiko Llaneras in Politikon on 2012-05-15 11:50:18

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ross Finnie & Ian Irvine, 2006. "Mobility and Gender at the Top Tail of the Earnings Distribution," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(2), pages 149-173.
    2. James B. Davies & Susanna Sandström & Anthony Shorrocks & Edward N. Wolff, 2011. "The Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 223-254, March.
    3. Andrews Dan & Jencks Christopher & Leigh Andrew, 2011. "Do Rising Top Incomes Lift All Boats?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, January.
    4. Roine, Jesper & Waldenstrom, Daniel, 2008. "The evolution of top incomes in an egalitarian society: Sweden, 1903-2004," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 366-387, February.
    5. José Mª Durán Cabré & Alejandro Esteller Moré, 2007. "An empirical analysis of wealth taxation: Equity vs. tax compliance," Working Papers 2007/1, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    6. Jordi Guilera Rafecas, 2008. "Top income shares in Portugal over the twentieth century," Working Papers in Economics 195, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    7. Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2007. "Inequality, poverty, and the Kuznets curve In Spain, 1850-2000," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp07-13, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    8. Rosés, Joan R. & Prados de la Escosura, Leandro, 2008. "Proximate causes of economic growth in Spain, 1850-2000," IFCS - Working Papers in Economic History.WH wp08-12, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Instituto Figuerola.
    9. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    10. Facundo Alvaredo, 2007. "The Rich in Argentina over the twentieth century: From the Conservative Republic to the Peronist experience and beyond 1932-2004," Working Papers halshs-00588318, HAL.
    11. Andrew Leigh & Alberto Posso, 2009. "Top Incomes And National Savings," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 57-74, March.
    12. A B Atkinson & Andrew Leigh, 2010. "The Distribution of Top Incomes in Five Anglo-Saxon Countries over the Twentieth Century," CEPR Discussion Papers 640, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    13. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.
    14. Francisco Azpitarte, 2008. "The Household Wealth Distribution in Spain: The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth," Working Papers 83, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    15. Facundo Alvaredo, 2008. "Top incomes and earnings in Portugal 1936-2004," Working Papers halshs-00586795, HAL.
    16. Frederick Guy & Peter Skott, 2008. "Information and Communications Technologies, Coordination and Control, and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 17(3-4), pages 71-92, September.
    17. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    18. A. B. Atkinson & J. E. Søgaard, 2013. "The long-run history of income inequality in Denmark: Top incomes from 1870 to 2010," EPRU Working Paper Series 2013-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    19. José Mª Durán Cabré & Alejandro Esteller Moré, 2007. "An empirical analysis of wealth taxation: Equity Vs.tax compliance," Working Papers XREAP2007-03, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jun 2007.
    20. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(524), pages 619-633, November.
    21. Howard Petith, 2007. "Neoliberalismo Europeo y la Transición Española Vista desde el Enfoque de Clase y Explotación," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 687.07, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    22. Gustafsson, Björn Anders & Jansson, Birgitta, 2007. "Top Incomes in Sweden during Three-Quarters of a Century: A Micro Data Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 2672, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    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. Emmanuel Saez & Joel Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2012. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(1), pages 3-50, March.
    2. Facundo Alvaredo, 2007. "The Rich in Argentina over the twentieth century: From the Conservative Republic to the Peronist experience and beyond 1932-2004," Working Papers halshs-00588318, HAL.
    3. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
    4. Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Reported Incomes and Marginal Tax Rates, 1960-2000: Evidence and Policy Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, pages 117-174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Carina Neisser, 2017. "The elasticity of taxable income: A meta-regression analysis," Working Papers 2017/10, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    6. Raymundo M. Campos-Vazquez & Emmanuel Chavez & Gerardo Esquivel, 2017. "Growth is (really) good for the (really) rich," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(12), pages 2639-2675, December.
    7. Fernholz, Ricardo T., 2016. "A Model of economic mobility and the distribution of wealth," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 168-192.
    8. Fernholz, Ricardo & Fernholz, Robert, 2014. "Instability and concentration in the distribution of wealth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 251-269.
    9. Salvatore Morelli & Timothy Smeeding & Jeffrey Thompson, 2014. "Post-1970 Trends in Within-Country Inequality and Poverty: Rich and Middle Income Countries," CSEF Working Papers 356, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    10. Alexis Akira Toda & Yulong Wang, 2021. "Efficient minimum distance estimation of Pareto exponent from top income shares," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(2), pages 228-243, March.
    11. Christian Frey & Christoph Gorgas & Christoph A. Schaltegger, 2017. "The Long Run Effects of Taxes and Tax Competition on top Income Shares: An Empirical Investigation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(4), pages 792-820, December.
    12. Katharina Jenderny, 2016. "Mobility of Top Incomes in Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(2), pages 245-265, June.
    13. Facundo Alvaredo, 2008. "Top incomes and earnings in Portugal 1936-2004," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586795, HAL.
    14. Katrine Marie Jakobsen & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2020. "Identifying Behavioral Responses to Tax Reforms: New Insights and a New Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 8686, CESifo.
    15. Katrine Marie Jakobsen & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2020. "Identifying Behavioral Responses to Tax Reforms: New Insights and a New Approach," CEBI working paper series 20-23, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. The Center for Economic Behavior and Inequality (CEBI).
    16. Thomas Blanchet & Bertrand Garbinti & Jonathan Goupille-Lebret & Clara Martínez-Toledano, 2018. "Applying Generalized Pareto Curves to Inequality Analysis," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 114-118, May.
    17. Torregrosa-Hetland, Sara, 2016. "Sticky Income Inequality In The Spanish Transition (1973-1990)," Revista de Historia Económica / Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(1), pages 39-80, March.
    18. Advani, Arun & Summers, Andy & Tarrant, Hannah, 2020. "Measuring UK top incomes," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 490, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    19. Giertz, Seth H., 2007. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income Over the 1980s and 1990s," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 60(4), pages 743-768, December.
    20. Kristoffer Berg & Thor O. Thoresen, 2020. "Problematic response margins in the estimation of the elasticity of taxable income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(3), pages 721-752, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income concentration; top incomes; behavioral response;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents

    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:wpaper:halshs-00587714. 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: CCSD (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.