A Reconsideration of the Economic Decline of the British Aristocracy 1858-2018

Journal article


Bond, M. and Morton, J. (2023). A Reconsideration of the Economic Decline of the British Aristocracy 1858-2018. European review of Economic History. https://doi.org/10.1093/ereh/head016
AuthorsBond, M. and Morton, J.
Abstract

Historical accounts of the British aristocracy have argued its economic decline was owed to its anachronistic characteristics helped by declining agricultural land values and rising inheritance taxes. We reconsider these arguments by examining the hereditary peerage’s probates over 1858-2018. Aristocratic wealth fell substantially although aristocrats remained rich. Decline began during the inter-war years, later than existing historical accounts. We could not find links between aristocratic wealth and farmland prices. Top marginal rates of inheritance tax were linked to reduced aristocratic probate values, but we argue this has more to do with tax avoidance than reductions in intergenerational transmission of wealth. Aristocrats followed the rich with their share of wealth dwindling over the 20th century. Together these arguments suggest the British aristocracy detached economic interests from status characteristics enabling them to persist more effectively than previously thought.

KeywordsAristocracy, Wealth,
Year2023
JournalEuropean review of Economic History
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
ISSN 1474-0044
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/ereh/head016
Publication dates
Print28 Jul 2023
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Jun 2023
Accepted12 Jun 2023
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Permalink -

https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/944z0

Restricted files

Accepted author manuscript

  • 108
    total views
  • 1
    total downloads
  • 14
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

What works in advocating for food advertising policy change across an english region - a realist evaluation.
Sykes, S., Watkins, M., Bond, M., Jenkins, C. and Wills, J. (2023). What works in advocating for food advertising policy change across an english region - a realist evaluation. BMC Public Health. 23 (1), p. 1896. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-023-16829-8
Trajectories of Aristocratic Wealth 1858-2018: Evidence from Probate
Bond, M. and Morton, J. (2021). Trajectories of Aristocratic Wealth 1858-2018: Evidence from Probate. Journal of British Studies. https://doi.org/10.1017/jbr.2022.52
Sex composition of corporate boards and corporate philanthropy
Slaughter, P, Harrigan, N and Bond, M (2014). Sex composition of corporate boards and corporate philanthropy. Voluntary Sector Review. 5 (3), pp. 361-380. https://doi.org/10.1332/204080514X14150982123190