Welcome to my academic website! I am a Postdoctoral researcher at the French Institute for Demographic Studies (Ined), and an affiliated researcher at the Aix-Marseille School of Economics (AMSE). I also co-founded and currently serve as the general secretary of the French Association of Population Economists (AFÉPOP).

My research investigates inequalities in France. In particular, I study the importance of elite education (in the grandes écoles) for social stratification, and the influence of milestone events on wealth disparities. Employing an interdisciplinary approach that combines economics and quantitative sociology, I often leverage historical data.

My Ph.D. dissertationGrandes Écoles in the 20th century, the field of the French elites: social reproduction, dynasties, networks—was awarded the 2022 Prize of the French Economic Association (AFSE) and a 2023 Thesis Prize special mention from the French National Institute for Youth and Community Education (INJEP).

I have or have had the privilege of teaching at Aix-Marseille UniversitySciences Po, and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University.

Please do not hesitate to contact me: 
stephane[dot]benveniste[at]ined[dot]fr | stephane[dot]benveniste[at]univ-amu[dot]fr

Stéphane Benveniste

Researcher in Economics

Research fields:

  • Applied economics
  • Inequality
  • Education
  • Wealth
  • Economic history
  • Demography

Focus on selected projects

Grande École admissions in the long-run

The top French elite colleges (Grande Écoles, GE) endorse meritocratic admissions through partially anonymous competitive examinations. I apply a novel name-based method for intergenerational mobility to a self-collected dataset on 285,286 graduates from 10 GE between 1886 and 2015. This reveals a consistent pattern of low intergenerational mobility for all cohorts born since 1916, with children of GE graduates having approximately 80 times higher chances of admission compared to the rest of the population.

The Value of Légions d’honneur
joint with R.Coulomb and M.Sangnier 

This paper provides the first quantification of the impact of State awards given to Directors on the stock value of their firms. We link recipients of the  French Légion d’honneur to Board positions in French listed firms over 1995–2019. We document positive abnormal returns in the stocks of recipients’ firms at the date of the award. We provide suggestive evidence that awards signal valuable access to policy-makers.

Parental death in childhood and wealth
joint with M.Leturcq

Roughly 10% of individuals born between the 1930s and 1980s in France experienced the premature death of a parent during childhood. We find that this experience is associated with a lasting wealth penaltyWe differentiate between maternal and paternal death and explore various mechanisms, such as financial hardship in childhood and hindered educational achievements.

Illustrations credits: Pierre-Henry Gomont, La grande école, 2020; L’Assiette au Beurre, 1902; Thomas Kennington, Orphans, 1885.


Arnaud Lefranc, CY Cergy Paris
Marion Leturcq, Ined
Marc Sangnier, AMSE
Alain Trannoy, EHESS – AMSE
Louis-André Vallet, CNRS – Sorbonne Université

Contact Information:
Mail: stephane[dot]benveniste[at]ined[dot]fr
Mailing Address: Ined – Campus Condorcet, 9 Cours des Humanités, 93322 Aubervilliers cedex, France