History of Wealth Taxation

Co-hosted by the Department of Economic History and Law School, LSE


Natacha Postel-Vinay

Department of Economic History



Andrew Summers

Law School, LSE

 Monday 26th June, LSE 

As is well-known, social inequality is primarily driven by inequalities in wealth, which determine inheritance, gifts, rents of all kinds, and eventually standards of living through basic things such as access to property. 

However in many countries wealth, and income from wealth, are taxed less than labour income. Recent events in the UK and around the world have led to general debates about the benefits, costs and feasibility of various forms of wealth taxation. Bringing about change in wealth taxation is particularly challenging due to political and societal inertia. Going back in history may help identify the nature of these challenges as well as potential solutions. 

The workshop we are convening will be an interdisciplinary one where academics researching wealth taxation and its history will join experts from policy backgrounds and law practice to shed light on these complex issues. 

The workshop will last half a day and will be primarily discussion-led. In the first part, a small number of speakers will offer their perspective on the topic and workshop guests will be encouraged to join in the conversation. The second part will consist in a roundtable, primarily focused on the issue of "Overcoming Path Dependence in Wealth Taxation," in which all guests will be expected to participate. It is hoped that tentative lessons will be drawn in the process.  

Workshop programme


12:00: Arrival and welcome buffet lunch

13:00: Martin Daunton, Cambridge tbc

13.50: Jill Rutter, Institute for Government tbc

14:40: John Avery Jones, Pump Court Tax Chambers, tbc

15:30: Tea/Coffee break

15:50: Norma Cohen, FT/Queen Mary University

16:40: Ian Roxan, Department of Law, LSE tbc

17:30: Tea/Coffee break

17:50: Roundtable: "Overcoming path dependency in wealth taxation."

19:00: Workshop ends

19:30: Dinner (invited participants only)