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Dynastic Accumulation of Wealth

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  • Degan, Arianna
  • Thibault, Emmanuel

Abstract

Why do some dynasties maintain the fortune of their founders while others completely squander it in few generations? To address this question, we use a simple deterministic microfounded model based on two main elements: the “hunger for accumulation” and the “willingness to exert effort”. Contrary to models with capital market imperfections, our setting points to the crucial role of our two key ingredients, rather than of initial wealth or transitory shocks to wealth or inflation, on the long-run process of wealth accumulation within a family lineage. In addition, in a context with heterogeneous dynasties, we show that our model can provide a novel interpretation for some macroeconomics issues such as the demise of the rich bourgeoisie, class structure, social mobility, and wealthy inequalities. For example it predicts that those who take the effort to innovate and take advantage of new profitable opportunities are agents who are neither too poor nor too rich. Obviously, this simple framework is a great starting point for further empirical analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Degan, Arianna & Thibault, Emmanuel, 2012. "Dynastic Accumulation of Wealth," TSE Working Papers 12-325, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:26057
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2016. "Intergenerational Mobility under Education-Effort Complementarity," UB Economics Working Papers 2016/351, Universitat de Barcelona, Facultat d'Economia i Empresa, UB Economics.
    2. Jordi Caballé, 2016. "Intergenerational mobility: measurement and the role of borrowing constraints and inherited tastes," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 393-420, November.
    3. Jaime Alonso-Carrera & Jordi Caballé & Xavier Raurich, 2016. "Intergenerational Mobility, Occupational Decision and the Distribution of Wages," Working Papers 945, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth

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