Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland Over the 20th Century

44 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2005

See all articles by Fabien Dell

Fabien Dell

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Thomas Piketty

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Emmanuel Saez

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

This paper presents homogeneous series on top shares of income and wealth in Switzerland since 1913 using personal income and wealth tax return statistics. In contrast to other countries such as Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands or the United States, top income and wealth shares in Switzerland are strikingly flat over the century, and display no secular downtrend from the early part of the century to the post-World War II period. Switzerland hardly ever implemented a very progressive income and wealth tax structure and top income and wealth tax rates have been very low relative to other developed countries. Therefore, our findings for Switzerland lead much credence to the view that the development of very progressive taxation is the central factor explaining the sustained decline in wealth and income concentration in countries such as Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, or the United States.

Keywords: Wealth inequality, income inequality, taxation

JEL Classification: O15, O52

Suggested Citation

Dell, Fabien and Piketty, Thomas and Saez, Emmanuel, Income and Wealth Concentration in Switzerland Over the 20th Century (May 2005). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5090. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=777725

Fabien Dell

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstra├če 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9152 (Phone)

Thomas Piketty (Contact Author)

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives d'Economie Mathematique Appliquees a la Planification (CEPREMAP) ( email )

Ecole Normale Superieure
48 boulevard Jourdan
75014 Paris
France
+33 1 4313 6250 (Phone)
+33 1 4313 6259 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pythie.cepremap.ens.fr/~piketty/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Emmanuel Saez

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States
510-642-4631 (Phone)
510-642-6615 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
49
Abstract Views
2,357
PlumX Metrics