The World Wealth and Income Database

The World Wealth and Income Database (WID), also known as, is an extensive, open and accessible database “on the historical evolution of the world distribution of income and wealth, both within countries and between countries”.[1]

World Inequality Report

WID findings are used by the World Inequality Lab at the Paris School of Economics to compile the World Inequality Report. The first report was released December 14, 2017 during the first Conference. Authors who compiled the report included Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman.[2] WID is part of an international collaborative effort of over a hundred researchers in five continents.


Pioneers of income inequality studies include Simon Kuznets’ 1953 study,[3] and A. B. Atkinson and Alan Harrison’s 1978 study. In 1953 Kuznet co-edited Shares of Upper Income Groups in Savings.[4][3] Kuznet, an American economist, statistician, demographer, economic historian, and winner of the 1971 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences,[5]:246 identified the historical series of economic movements such as “Kuznets swing”, in the economy cycles.[6][7]

Thomas Piketty

In Capital is Back,[8] University of California at Berkeley’s[9] French economist Gabriel Zucman and Thomas Piketty investigate the evolution of aggregate wealth-to-income ratios in the top eight developed economies, reaching back as far as 1700 in the case of the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France, and find that wealth-income ratios have risen from about “200-300% in 1970 to 400-600% in 2010”,[10][8] levels unknown since the 18th and 19th centuries. Most of the change can be explained by the long-run recovery of asset prices, the slowdown of productivity, and population growth.[8] According to The New York Times Book Review, Zucman is mostly known for his research on tax havens, popularized in his book The Hidden Wealth of Nations.[11][12][13][14]


  1. ^“About”. World Wealth and Income Database (WID). nd. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  2. ^Alvaredo, Facundo; Chancel, Lucas; Piketty, Thomas; Saez, Emmanuel; Zucman, Gabriel, eds. (December 14, 2017). World Inequality Report (2018) (PDF) (Report). p. 300. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  3. ^ Jump up to:ab Kuznets, Simon (1953). Kuznets, Simon; Jenks, Elizabeth (eds.). Shares of Upper Income Groups in Savings (PDF). Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings. National Bureau of Economic Research(1953). ISBN 0-87014-054-X. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  4. ^Lundberg, Erik (1971). “Simon Kuznets’ Contribution to Economics”. The Swedish Journal of Economics. 73 (4): 444–461. doi:10.2307/3439225.
  5. ^“Moses Abramovitz (1912-1999) and Simon Kuznets (1901–1985)”. The Journal of Economic History. 46 (1). March 1986.
  6. ^Abramovitz, Moses (April 1961). “The nature and significance of Kuznets cycles”. Economic Development and Cultural Change. 6 (3): 225–248.
  7. ^Abramovitz, Moses (November 1968). “The passing of the Kuznets cycle”. Economica. New Series. 35 (140): 349–367. doi:10.2307/2552345.
  8. ^ Jump up to:ab c Piketty, Thomas; Zucman, Gabriel (2014). “Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries 1700-2010”. Quarterly Journal of Economics. 129 (3): 1255–1310. doi:10.1093/qje/qju018.PDF
  9. ^“Curriculum vitae of Gabriel Zucman” (PDF). Retrieved December 17,2018.
  10. ^Piketty, Thomas; Zucman, Gabriel (August 2013). “DP9588 Capital is Back: Wealth-Income Ratios in Rich Countries, 1700-2010”. Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). Discussion papers.
  11. ^Sunstein, Cass R. (January 14, 2016). “Parking the Big Money”. The New York Times Book Review. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  12. ^Houlder, Vanessa (October 2, 2015). “The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens’, by Gabriel Zucman”. Financial Times.
  13. ^Drucker, Jesse (September 21, 2015). “If You See a Little Piketty in This Tax-Haven Book, That’s Fine”. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  14. ^Heuser, Uwe Jean (July 3, 2014). “Was heißt hier gerecht?”. Die Zeit

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