NEW: Inequality and Redistribution in France, 1990-2018: Evidence from Post-Tax Distributional National Accounts, with Antoine Bozio, Bertrand Garbinti, Malka Guillot, and Thomas Piketty, WID.world WORKING PAPER SERIES N° 2018/10
Abstract: This paper presents post-tax Distributional National Accounts (DINA) for France. That is, we combine national accounts, tax and survey data in a comprehensive and consistent manner to build homogenous annual series on the post-tax, post-transfer distribution of national income by percentiles over the 1990-2018 period, with detailed breakdown by age, tax and transfer categories. We come with three main findings. First, taxes and transfers reduce total income inequality (as measured by the ratio between average incomes of the top 10% and bottom 50% groups) by 23% on average in France over this period. This is significant, but less than in the US (34%). The reason why overall inequality is much smaller in France than in the US (more than twice as small, according to this indicator) is entirely due to differences in pretax inequality (themselves due to a complex combination of factors: access to education, wage formation, etc.) rather than in secondary redistribution (i.e. policies affecting the gap between the pretax distribution and the post-tax post-transfer distribution of income). Next, due to the large role of indirect taxes, social contributions, and income capital exemptions, the overall profile of taxation is structurally regressive in France (i.e. very top groups pay lower effective tax rates than groups just below them), a feature that has been reinforced in 2017-2018. Third, monetary transfers benefit mostly older age groups in France, and leave unaffected the low relative position of younger age groups. These series are currently being extended to cover the entire 1900-2018 period and to better take into account in-kind transfers.
REVISED: Accounting for Wealth Inequality Dynamics: Methods, Estimates and Simulations for France, with Bertrand Garbinti and Thomas Piketty, WID.world Working Paper N° 2016/05. Revisions requested by the Journal of European Economic Association 2nd Round).
Abstract: This paper studies the evolution and the determinants of wealth inequality in France over the 1970-2014 period. We combine fiscal data with household surveys and national accounts in order to deliver annual wealth distribution series, with detailed breakdowns by percentiles, age and assets. We also estimate and analyze the joint distribution of income and wealth, as well as the determinants of wealth inequality dynamics such as rates of return, saving rates, and rates of capital gains by wealth groups. We show that the decline in wealth inequality ends in the early 1980s, marking the beginning of a rise in the top 1% wealth share, though with significant fluctuations due to asset price movements. Rising inequality in saving rates and rates of return have led to rising wealth concentration in spite of the contradictory effect of house price increases. We develop a simple simulation model highlighting how changes in the combination of unequal saving rates, rates of return and labor earnings that occurred in the early 1980s generate large multiplicative effects led to radically different steady-state levels of wealth inequality. Taking advantage of the joint distribution of income and wealth, we show that top wealth holders are almost exclusively top capital earners, and less and less made up of top labor earners; it has become increasingly difficult in recent decades to access top wealth groups with one’s labor income only.
FINAL: Behavioral Responses to Inheritance Tax: Evidence from Notches in France, with Arturo Infante, Journal of Public Economics, 2018, 168: 21-34. Abstract.
Income Inequality in France, 1900-2014: Evidence from Distributional National Accounts (DINA), with Bertrand Garbinti and Thomas Piketty, Journal of Public Economics, 2018, 162: 63-77. Abstract.
Applying Generalized ParetoCurves to Inequality Analysis, with Thomas Blanchet, Bertrand Garbinti and Clara Martinez Toledano, American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings, 2018, 108: 114–118. Abstract.
The Impact of Inheritance and Transfer Taxation on Economic Behaviors and Inequality: a Literature Review for France, with Bertrand Garbinti, Ifo DICE Report 2/2018 (June): 13-18, 2018.
Articles in French:
Inégalités de revenus et de richesse en France : Quelles évolutions sur longue période ? Quels liens ?, avec Bertrand Garbinti, Economie et Statistique, à paraitre.
Combien ont coûté les réformes de l’impôt sur les successions mises en place en France depuis 2000 ?, [Inheritance tax reforms in France: How much did they cost since 2000?], Revue économique, 2016, 67(4), p. 913-936.
Impact des droits de succession sur le comportement d'accumulation du patrimoine, avec Arturo Infante, Revue française d'économie, 2016/1 (Volume XXXI), p. 187-206.
Dissemination of scientific knowledge:
- Income inequality in France: Economic growth and the gender gap, VoxEU, with Bertrand Garbinti and Thomas Piketty.
- The evolution of wealth inequality in France from 1800 to 2014, Rue de la Banque, 2018, with Bertrand Garbinti.
- Trois decennies d’inégalités et de redistribution en France (1990-2018), Note WIL-IPP, 2018, avec Antoine Bozio , Bertrand Garbinti, Malka Guillot et Thomas Piketty.
- Inégalités de patrimoine en France : quelles évolutions de 1800 à 2014 ?, Rue de la Banque, Variances, 2018, avec Bertrand Garbinti.
- Inégalité de revenus et de patrimoine : l’envolée récente des très hauts patrimoines et revenus, avec Bertrand Garbinti, Cahier Français, No. 400, 2017.
- Budget 2013 : la réforme de l’impôt sur le revenu, [French Budget 2013: Income Tax Reform], avec Antoine Bozio, Brice Fabre et Quentin Laffeter, Note IPP, No. 2, octobre 2012.
- Fiscalité et redistribution en France, 1997-2012, [TAXIPP analyses 15 years of tax policies in France], avec Antoine Bozio, Roy Dauvergne, Brice Fabre et Olivier Meslin, Rapport IPP, No. 1, mars 2012.