24 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 29, 2016
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: 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