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Wealth Inequality and Homeownership in Europe


  • Leo Kaas
  • Georgi Kocharkov
  • Edgar Preugschat


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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    More about this item


    Wealth Inequality; Homeownership; Housing; Euro Area.;

    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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