Discussion paper

DP16660 Wealth-Income Ratios in Free Market Capitalism: Switzerland, 1900–2020

We estimate the ratio of private wealth to national income, βpt, for Switzerland from 1900 to 2020. Our results indicate that over the 20th century, βpt did not follow a U-shaped pattern as in most European countries. Instead, it was exceptionally stable at around 500%. We argue that this consistently high βpt was the result of geopolitical factors combined with Switzerland’s capital friendly policymaking. Since the turn of the century, however, βpt has been on a rapid rise to reach 793% in 2020. This considerable increase is mainly driven by large capital gains, especially in housing wealth.

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Citation

Baselgia, E and I Martínez (eds) (2021), “DP16660 Wealth-Income Ratios in Free Market Capitalism: Switzerland, 1900–2020”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 16660. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16660-1