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The Structure and Distribution of Household Wealth in Australia

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  • Bruce Headey
  • Gary Marks
  • Mark Wooden

Abstract

This article uses data from the second wave of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (or HILDA) Survey to provide an overview of the structure and distribution of household wealth in Australia. The data confirm that wealth is very unequally distributed, with the bottom half of the distribution owning less than 10 per cent of total household net worth, while the wealthiest 10 per cent account for 45 per cent. The article also includes an analysis of the factors associated with household wealth that indicates that wealth is significantly related to a range of factors including age, country of birth, parental occupational status, education, marital status, working hours, income, self-reported savings behaviour, a willingness to take risks and even various lifestyle behaviours, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Copyright 2005 The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Headey & Gary Marks & Mark Wooden, 2005. "The Structure and Distribution of Household Wealth in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(2), pages 159-175, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecr:v:38:y:2005:i:2:p:159-175
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2004. "Sample Attrition in the HILDA Survey," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 293-308, June.
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    5. Mark Wooden & Simon Freidin & Nicole Watson, 2002. "The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)Survey: Wave 1," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(3), pages 339-348.
    6. van Ours, Jan C., 2004. "A pint a day raises a man's pay; but smoking blows that gain away," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 863-886, September.
    7. A. W. Dilnot, 1990. "The Distribution and Composition of Personal Sector Wealth in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 23(1), pages 33-40.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Watson & Mark Wooden, 2010. "The HILDA Survey: Progress and Future Developments," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 43(3), pages 326-336.
    2. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Sinning, Mathias G., 2016. "Locus of control and savings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 113-130.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0455 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bruce Headey & Mark Wooden, 2004. "The Effects of Wealth and Income on Subjective Well-Being and Ill-Being," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(s1), pages 24-33, September.
    5. James Giesecke & G.A.Meagher, 2006. "Modelling the Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers g-157, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
    6. James B. Davies & Susanna Sandström & Anthony Shorrocks & Edward N. Wolff, 2011. "The Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(551), pages 223-254, March.
    7. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hildebrand, Vincent A., 2008. "The Asset Portfolios of Native-Born and Foreign-Born Households," IZA Discussion Papers 3304, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. M. Marković & S. Zdravković & M. Mitrović & A. Radojičić, 2016. "An Iterative Multivariate Post Hoc I-Distance Approach in Evaluating OECD Better Life Index," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 1-19, March.
    9. Jenny Chesters & John Western, 2010. "Evidence and Perceptions of Inequality in Australia," CEPR Discussion Papers 635, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    10. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Sonja C. Kassenboehmer & Mathias G. Sinning, 2013. "Locus of Control and Savings," Ruhr Economic Papers 0455, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    11. Debajyoti Chakrabarty & Hajime Katayama & Hanna Maslen, 2008. "Why Do the Rich Save More? A Theory and Australian Evidence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages 32-44, September.
    12. Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2011. "Portfolio Allocation In The Face Of A Means‐Tested Public Pension," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(3), pages 536-560, September.
    13. Torche, Florencia & Spilerman, Seymour, 2006. "Household Wealth in Latin America," WIDER Working Paper Series 114, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    14. Stefan Humer & Mathias Moser & Matthias Schnetzer, 2015. "Socioeconomic structures of the Austrian wealth distribution," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 42(2), pages 269-289, May.
    15. Bruce Bradbury, 2008. "Housing wealth as retirement saving: Does the Australian Model Lead to Over-Consumption of Housing?," LWS Working papers 7, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    16. Jefferson, Therese & Taplin, Ross, 2012. "Relational aspects of decisions to sell," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 697-704.
    17. Chyi Lin Lee, 2009. "Housing price volatility and its determinants," International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(3), pages 293-308, August.
    18. Drago, Robert & Black, David & Wooden, Mark, 2004. "Female Breadwinner Families: Their Existence, Persistence and Sources," IZA Discussion Papers 1308, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Bruce Headey, 2008. "Poverty Is Low Consumption and Low Wealth, Not Just Low Income," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 23-39, October.
    20. Simon Anastasiadis, 2010. "Health and Wealth," Treasury Working Paper Series 10/01, New Zealand Treasury.
    21. John Freebairn, 2005. "A Comparison of Alternative Tax Bases," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2005n11, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    22. Andrew C. Worthington, 2009. "Household Asset Portfolio Diversification: Evidence from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:200908, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    23. Roger Wilkins & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Household Debt in Australia: The Looming Crisis that Isn't," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 42(3), pages 358-366.

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