Explaining Income and Wealth Inequality over the Long Run: The Case of France
We build an original heterogeneous-agent model with three assets (deposits, housing and equity), labor-income risk, entrepreneurs, and a rich and realistic set of flat and progressive taxes and transfers. Using France as an illustration, the model fits the level and dynamics of wealth and income inequalities, the aggregate and distributional tax structure, the composition of wealth along the distribution as well as key macroeconomic aggregates over the 1984-2018 period. Rising markups account for the bulk of rising income inequality. Wealth inequality dynamics result mostly from changes in saving rate inequality but only in response to the exogenous changes in taxation and markups. Our results point to the critical importance of endogenous saving decisions in response to exogenous shocks as a key driver of wealth inequality.