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The End of the Rentiers: Paris 1842-1957

Abstract : This paper exploits a unique individual-level database that we collected from Paris inheritance archives from 1842 to 1957. We explore the interplay between aggregate macroeconomic shocks, the end of rentiers, and the long-run decline in wealth inequality. We quantify for the first time the role of the rise of progressive taxation of income and inheritance in these individual-level dynamics. We find that the real innovation of the twentieth century in reducing wealth inequality was the new fiscal regime that came in response to wars and other adverse shocks after 1914. Had it only been for the negative shocks themselves, the distribution of wealth in Paris and the consumption possibilities of the rich would have more easily returned to their pre-World War I level.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02797891
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Submitted on : Friday, June 5, 2020 - 3:16:30 PM
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Thomas Piketty, Gilles Postel-Vinay, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal. The End of the Rentiers: Paris 1842-1957. 2018. ⟨halshs-02797891⟩

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