• UCL Twitter account
  • UCL YouTube channel
  • UCL Facebook page
  • UCL SoundCloud channel
  • UCL iTunes store

Information for Staff

Calendar

Select dates to view past and future events

12:30 - 13:45 29 October 2014

Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data

Location

IFS Basement | Institute for Fiscal Studies (link Map)
7 Ridgmount Street | London | WC1E 7AE | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Student
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Gabriel Zucman, LSE

This paper combines income tax returns with Flow of Funds data to estimate the distribution of household wealth in the United States since 1913. We estimate wealth by capitalizing the incomes reported by individual taxpayers, accounting for assets that do not generate taxable income. We successfully test our capitalization method in three micro datasets where we can observe both income and wealth: the Survey of Consumer Finance, linked estate and income tax returns, and foundations' tax records. Wealth concentration has followed a U-shaped evolution over the last 100 years: It was high in the beginning of the twentieth century, fell from 1929 to 1978, and has continuously increased since then. The rise of wealth inequality is almost entirely due to the rise of the top 0.1% wealth share, from 7% in 1979 to 22% in 2012 - a level almost as high as in 1929. The bottom 90% wealth share first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined.


Contact

Institute for Fiscal Studies
020 7291 4800 | -


image