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Inheritance Flows in Switzerland, 1911-2011

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  • Marius Brulhart
  • Didier Dupertuis
  • Elodie Moreau

Abstract

We estimate the size of inheritance flows in Switzerland as a share of total wealth and of national income over a long span of data, in close analogy to the study for France by Piketty (2011). We find that inheritance flows had been growing more slowly than national income up until the 1970s, but have been outpacing income growth since. According to our central estimates, the annual flow of inheritance amounted to 2.7% of the stock of private wealth and to 13.1% of national income in 2011. These values are higher than our corresponding (though more approximate) estimates for 1911. The share of total wealth that is attributable to inheritance has remained relatively stable over time, uctuating between 40% and 50%.

Suggested Citation

  • Marius Brulhart & Didier Dupertuis & Elodie Moreau, 2016. "Inheritance Flows in Switzerland, 1911-2011," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'économie 16.05, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, Département d’économie.
  • Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:16.05
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    2. Enea Baselgia & Isabel Z. Martínez, 2020. "A Safe Harbor: Wealth-Income Ratios in Switzerland over the 20th Century and the Role of Housing Prices," KOF Working papers 20-487, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    3. Isabel Z. Martínez, 2021. "Evidence from Unique Swiss Tax Data on the Composition and Joint Distribution of Income and Wealth," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Distribution and Mobility of Income and Wealth, pages 105-142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kristian Blickle & Martin Brown, 2019. "Borrowing Constraints, Home Ownership and Housing Choice: Evidence from Intra‐Family Wealth Transfers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 51(2-3), pages 539-580, March.
    5. Häner, Melanie & Salvi, Michele & Schaltegger, Christoph A., 2022. "Marry into New or Old Money? The Distributional Impact of Marital Decisions from an Intergenerational Perspective," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264024, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Sklair, Jessica & Glucksberg, Luna, 2021. "Philanthrocapitalism as wealth management strategy: philanthropy, inheritance and succession planning among the global elite," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 106155, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. David Gallusser & Matthias Krapf, 2019. "Joint Income-Wealth Inequality: An Application Using Administrative Tax Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 7876, CESifo.
    8. Enea Baselgia & Isabel Z. Martínez, 2022. "Wealth-Income Ratios in Free Market Capitalism: Switzerland, 1900-2020," CESifo Working Paper Series 9976, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    inheritance; Switzerland;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-

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