A U-Curve of Inequality? Measuring Inequality in the Interwar Period

24 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2016  

Vincent Geloso

Texas Tech University

John A. Moore

Northwood University

Philip D. Schlosser

University of Detroit Mercy

Date Written: September 29, 2016

Abstract

In this paper, we question the level of inequality in the 1920s as presented in recent works by Piketty (2014, 2015), Piketty and Saez (2003) and Atkinson, Piketty and Saez (2011). Their work purports to observe a U-shaped curve of the evolution for inequality over time; it falls from the 1920s to the 1960s and increases thereafter. The implicit assumption is that we are now returning to 1920s-like inequality. We argue that it is quite likely that they dramatically overstate the level of inequality observed in the 1920s which materially affects any narrative of the evolution of inequality thereafter.

Keywords: Inequality, Taxation, Economic History

JEL Classification: N32, D63, H26

Suggested Citation

Geloso, Vincent and Moore, John A. and Schlosser, Philip D., A U-Curve of Inequality? Measuring Inequality in the Interwar Period (September 29, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2845367 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2845367

Vincent Geloso (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University ( email )

1901 University Avenue
Lubbock, TX Texas 79410
United States

John A. Moore

Northwood University ( email )

United States

Philip D. Schlosser

University of Detroit Mercy ( email )

4001 McNichols Rd
Detroit, MI 48221
United States

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