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Wealth Inequality and Homeownership in Europe

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  • Leo Kaas
  • Georgi Kocharkov
  • Edgar Preugschat

Abstract

The recently published Household Finance and Consumption Survey has revealed large differences in wealth inequality between the countries of the Euro area. We document a strong negative correlation between wealth inequality and homeownership rates across countries. We show that this negative relationship is robust to controlling for other observables using a counterfactual decomposition of cross-country inequality differences based on a recentered influence function regression. Furthermore, by decomposing the Gini coefficient across owners and renters we argue that the negative relationship is mostly driven by large inequality between the two groups. We also find that the cross-country differences in the homeownership rate and its negative correlation with wealth inequality are to a large extent driven by households in the lower half of the wealth distribution. Thus, not only the top percentiles but also the lower tail is important in accounting for overall wealth inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat, 2019. "Wealth Inequality and Homeownership in Europe," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 136, pages 27-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:adr:anecst:y:2019:i:136:p:27-54
    DOI: 10.15609/annaeconstat2009.136.0027
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    2. Pham-Dao, Lien, 2016. "Public Insurance and Wealth Inequality - A Euro Area Analysis," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145942, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Barbara Castillo Rico, 2020. "Trends in intergenerational homeownership mobility in France between 1960-2015," AMSE Working Papers 2008, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, France.
    4. Brzezinski, Michal & Sałach, Katarzyna, 2021. "Factors that account for the wealth inequality differences between post-socialist countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).
    5. Orsetta Causa & Nicolas Woloszko & David Leite, 2020. "Housing, Wealth Accumulation and Wealth Distribution: Evidence and Stylized Facts," LWS Working papers 30, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    6. Kacper Grejcz & Zbigniew Żółkiewski, 2017. "Household wealth in Poland: the results of a new survey of household finance," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 48(3), pages 295-326.
    7. Garbinti Bertrand & Savignac Frédérique, 2018. "The role of real estate in euro area wealth inequality: lessons from the Household Finance and Consumption Survey," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 55, january.
    8. Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat, 2019. "Does homeownership promote wealth accumulation?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(14), pages 1186-1191, August.
    9. Carole Bonnet & Bertrand Garbinti & Sébastien Grobon, 2018. "Rising inequalities in access to home ownership among young households in France, 1973-2013," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 500-501-5, pages 117-138.
    10. Bönke, Timm & Grabka, Markus M. & Schröder, Carsten & Wolff, Edward N., 2020. "A Head-to-Head Comparison of Augmented Wealth in Germany and the United States," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1140-1180.
    11. Stephan L. Thomsen & Daniel Vogt & Lars Brausewetter, 2020. "Mietwohnungsknappheit in Deutschland: Ursachen, Instrumente, Implikationen [Shortage of Rental Housing in Germany: Causes, Instruments, Implications]," Wirtschaftsdienst, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 100(6), pages 461-467, June.
    12. Michał Brzeziński & Katarzyna Sałach, 2020. "Why wealth inequality differs between post-socialist countries?," Working Papers 2020-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    13. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Vogt, Daniel & Brausewetter, Lars, 2019. "Wohnungsmarkt und Wohnungspolitik in Deutschland: Situation und Optionen," IZA Standpunkte 97, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Luís Martins & Luísa Farinha & Renata Mesquita & Sónia Costa, 2021. "Household wealth in Portugal and the euro area," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles and Banco de Portugal Economic Studies, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    15. Biewen, Martin & Glaisner, Stefan & Kleimann, Rolf, 2021. "A Convenient Representation of the Wealth Distribution and More Evidence on Homeownership and Wealth Inequality in Euro Area Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 14842, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Anna Boldizsár & Zsuzsa Kékesi & Balázs Kóczián & Balázs Sisak, 2016. "The Wealth Position of Hungarian Households based on HFCS," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 15(4), pages 115-150.
    17. Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat & Nawid Siassi, 2021. "Low Homeownership in Germany—a Quantitative Exploration," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 128-164.
    18. Zhang, Ping & Sun, Lin & Zhang, Chuanyong, 2021. "Understanding the role of homeownership in wealth inequality: Evidence from urban China (1995–2018)," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth Inequality; Homeownership; Housing; Euro Area.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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