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The Joint Distribution of Net Worth and Pension Wealth in Germany

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  • Timm Bönke
  • Markus M. Grabka
  • Carsten Schröder
  • Edward N. Wolff
  • Lennard Zyska

Abstract

The research on wealth inequality has generally focused on real and financial assets, while giving little attention to pension wealth: the present value of future pension entitlements from public and company pension schemes. This is surprising given the important role pension plans play in guaranteeing material security and well‐being for a majority of the population, and suggests that they should be accounted for in peoples’ wealth portfolios. Using novel data from the Socio‐Economic Panel (SOEP), we study the incidence, relevance, and distribution of individual pension wealth, net worth, and augmented wealth (the sum of the two) in Germany. Further, we investigate age‐wealth profiles and differences between East and West Germany.

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  • Timm Bönke & Markus M. Grabka & Carsten Schröder & Edward N. Wolff & Lennard Zyska, 2019. "The Joint Distribution of Net Worth and Pension Wealth in Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(4), pages 834-871, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:65:y:2019:i:4:p:834-871
    DOI: 10.1111/roiw.12371
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    Cited by:

    1. Bartels, Charlotte & Bönke, Timm & Glaubitz, Rick & Grabka, Markus M. & Schröder, Carsten, 2023. "Accounting for pension wealth, the missing rich and under-coverage: A comprehensive wealth distribution for Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 231(C).
    2. Bofinger, Peter & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Wieland, Volker, 2018. "Vor wichtigen wirtschaftspolitischen Weichenstellungen. Jahresgutachten 2018/19 [Setting the Right Course for Economic Policy. Annual Report 2018/19]," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201819.
    3. Sierminska, Eva & Wroński, Marcin, 2022. "Inequality and Public Pension Entitlements," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1212, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Alice Henriques Volz & Lindsay Jacobs & Elizabeth Llanes & Kevin B. Moore & Jeffrey P. Thompson, 2021. "Wealth Concentration in the United States Using an Expanded Measure of Net Worth," Working Papers 21-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    5. Schularick, Moritz & Albers, Thilo & Bartels, Charlotte, 2022. "Wealth and its Distribution in Germany, 1895-2018," CEPR Discussion Papers 17269, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. 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, vol. 122(3), pages 1140-1180.
    7. Karla Cordova & Markus M. Grabka & Eva Sierminska, 2022. "Pension Wealth and the Gender Wealth Gap," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 38(4), pages 755-810, October.
    8. Wroński, Marcin, 2023. "The impact of social security wealth on the distribution of wealth in the European Union," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 24(C).
    9. Johannes Geyer & Salmai Qari & Hermann Buslei & Peter Haan, 2021. "DySiMo Dokumentation: Version 1.0," Data Documentation 101, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Tyrowicz, Joanna, 2020. "Are incentivized old-age savings schemes effective under incomplete rationality?," VfS Annual Conference 2020 (Virtual Conference): Gender Economics 224526, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Thilo N. H. Albers & Charlotte Bartels & Moritz Schularick, 2020. "The Distribution of Wealth in Germany, 1895-2018," ECONtribute Policy Brief Series 001, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    12. Ihle, Dorothee & Siebert-Meyerhoff, Andrea, 2017. "The older, the richer? A decomposition of wealth inequality by age subgroups," CAWM Discussion Papers 97, University of Münster, Münster Center for Economic Policy (MEP).
    13. Markus Knell & Reinhard Koman, 2022. "Pension Entitlements and Net Wealth in Austria (Markus Knell, Reinhard Koman)," Working Papers 238, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    14. Schröder Carsten & König Johannes & Fedorets Alexandra & Goebel Jan & Grabka Markus M. & Lüthen Holger & Metzing Maria & Schikora Felicitas & Liebig Stefan, 2020. "The economic research potentials of the German Socio-Economic Panel study," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 21(3), pages 335-371, September.
    15. Lukas Menkhoff & Carsten Schröder, 2022. "Risky Asset Holdings During Covid‐19 and their Distributional Impact: Evidence from Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 68(2), pages 497-517, June.
    16. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20 [Dealing with Structural Change. Annual Report 2019/20]," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920.
    17. Ursina Kuhn, 2020. "Augmented wealth in Switzerland: the influence of pension wealth on wealth inequality," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-16, December.
    18. Joanna Tyrowicz & Krzysztof Makarski & Artur Rutkowski, 2020. "Fiscal incentives to pension savings – are they efficient?," Working Paper series 20-06, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    19. von Werder, Marten, 2018. "Intergenerational transfers: How do they shape the German wealth distribution?," Discussion Papers 2018/15, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    20. Schünemann, Johannes & Grossmann, Volker & Strulik, Holger, 2023. "Fair Pension Policies with Occupation-Specific Aging," VfS Annual Conference 2023 (Regensburg): Growth and the "sociale Frage" 277593, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    21. Eduard Suari-Andreu, 2023. "Labour supply, retirement, and consumption responses of older Europeans to inheritance receipt," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 64(1), pages 33-75, January.
    22. Kuhn, Ursina & Grabka, Markus M. & Suter, Christian, 2021. "Early retirement as a privilege for the rich? A comparative analysis of Germany and Switzerland," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 47, pages 100392-1003.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions

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