IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/ectrin/v28y2020i4p637-660.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Wealth inequality in Central and Eastern Europe: Evidence from household survey and rich lists’ data combined

Author

Listed:
  • Michał Brzeziński
  • Katarzyna Sałach
  • Marcin Wroński

Abstract

We study how the problem of the ‘missing rich’, the underrepresentation of the wealthiest in household surveys, affects wealth inequality estimates for the post‐socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The survey data from the second wave of the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) are joined with the data from the national rich lists for Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia. Pareto distribution is fitted to the joined survey and rich lists’ data to impute the missing observations for the largest wealth values. We provide the first estimates of the top‐corrected wealth inequality for the CEE region in 2013/2014. Despite a short period of wealth accumulation during the post‐1989 market economy period, our adjustment procedure reveals that wealth inequality in the Baltic countries is comparable to that of Germany (one of the most wealth‐unequal countries in Europe), while in Poland and Hungary it has reached levels observed in France or Spain. We discuss possible explanations of these findings with reference to the speed and range of privatization processes, extent of income inequality, and the role of inheritances and wealth taxes in the region.

Suggested Citation

  • Michał Brzeziński & Katarzyna Sałach & Marcin Wroński, 2020. "Wealth inequality in Central and Eastern Europe: Evidence from household survey and rich lists’ data combined," Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 28(4), pages 637-660, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:ectrin:v:28:y:2020:i:4:p:637-660
    DOI: 10.1111/ecot.12257
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/ecot.12257
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1111/ecot.12257?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Boriss Siliverstovs & Konstantin A. Kholodilin & Vyacheslav Dombrovsky, 2014. "Using Personal Car Register for Measuring Economic Inequality in Countries with a Large Share of Shadow Economy: Evidence for Latvia," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 948-966, December.
    2. Filip Novokmet & Thomas Piketty & Gabriel Zucman, 2018. "From Soviets to oligarchs: inequality and property in Russia 1905-2016," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 189-223, June.
    3. Simon H. Boserup & Wojciech Kopczuk & Claus T. Kreiner, 2016. "The Role of Bequests in Shaping Wealth Inequality: Evidence from Danish Wealth Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 656-661, May.
    4. Stephen P. Jenkins, 2017. "Pareto Models, Top Incomes and Recent Trends in UK Income Inequality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 261-289, April.
    5. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.
    6. Elinder, Mikael & Erixson, Oscar & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "Inheritance and wealth inequality: Evidence from population registers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 17-30.
    7. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
    8. Paul Eckerstorfer & Johannes Halak & Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz & Florian Springholz & Rafael Wildauer, 2016. "Correcting for the Missing Rich: An Application to Wealth Survey Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(4), pages 605-627, December.
    9. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2017. "Top Incomes during Wars, Communism and Capitalism: Poland 1892-2015," PSE Working Papers halshs-02797835, HAL.
    10. Klass, Oren S. & Biham, Ofer & Levy, Moshe & Malcai, Ofer & Solomon, Sorin, 2006. "The Forbes 400 and the Pareto wealth distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 290-295, February.
    11. Alstadsæter, Annette & Johannesen, Niels & Zucman, Gabriel, 2018. "Who owns the wealth in tax havens? Macro evidence and implications for global inequality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 89-100.
    12. Bach, Stefan & Thiemann, Andreas & Zucco, Aline, 2019. "Looking for the missing rich: tracing the top tail of the wealth distribution," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1234-1258.
    13. Philip Vermeulen, 2016. "Estimating the Top Tail of the Wealth Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 646-650, May.
    14. Bukowski, Pawel & Novokmet, Filip, 2017. "Top incomes during wars, communism and capitalism: Poland 1892-2015," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101855, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    15. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2017. "Top Incomes during Wars, Communism and Capitalism: Poland 1892-2015," World Inequality Lab Working Papers halshs-02797835, HAL.
    16. Francisco H. G. Ferreira, 1999. "Economic transition and the distributions of income and wealth," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 377-410, July.
    17. David Aristei & Cristiano Perugini, 2014. "Speed and Sequencing of Transition Reforms and Income Inequality: A Panel Data Analysis," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(3), pages 542-570, September.
    18. Jekaterina Navickė & Romas Lazutka, 2018. "Distributional Implications of the Economic Development in the Baltics: Reconciling Micro and Macro Perspectives," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 187-206, July.
    19. Philip Vermeulen, 2018. "How Fat is the Top Tail of the Wealth Distribution?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(2), pages 357-387, June.
    20. Michael Alexeev, 1999. "The effect of privatization on wealth distribution in Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 449-465, July.
    21. Gabaix, Xavier & Ibragimov, Rustam, 2011. "Rank − 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39.
    22. Pawel Bukowski & Filip Novokmet, 2017. "Top Incomes during Wars, Communism and Capitalism: Poland 1892-2015," Working Papers halshs-02797835, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Marcin Wroñski, 2021. "Can the wealth tax be a remedy for public finance and reduce wealth inequalities in Poland?," IBS Policy Papers 03/2021, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Michal Brzezinski & Katarzyna Sałach & Marcin Wroński, 2019. "Wealth inequality in Central and Eastern Europe: evidence from joined household survey and rich lists’ data," Working Papers 2019-09, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    2. Chakraborty, Robin & Waltl, Sofie R., 2018. "Missing the wealthy in the HFCS: micro problems with macro implications," Working Paper Series 2163, European Central Bank.
    3. Arun Advani & George Bangham & Jack Leslie, 2021. "The UK's wealth distribution and characteristics of high‐wealth households," Fiscal Studies, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(3-4), pages 397-430, September.
    4. Heck, Ines & Kapeller, Jakob & Wildauer, Rafael, 2020. "Vermögenskonzentration in Österreich: Ein Update auf Basis des HFCS 2017," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 30683, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    5. Michał Brzeziński & Katarzyna Sałach, 2020. "Why wealth inequality differs between post-socialist countries?," Working Papers 2020-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    6. Michele Cantarella & Andrea Neri & Maria Giovanna Ranalli, 2021. "Mind the wealth gap: a new allocation method to match micro and macro statistics for household wealth," Papers 2101.01085, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2021.
    7. Ines Heck & Jakob Kapeller & Rafael Wildauer, 2020. "Vermögenskonzentration in Österreich," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 206, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    8. Mathias Moser & Stefan Humer & Matthias Schnetzer, 2016. "Bequests and the accumulation of wealth in the Eurozone," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 149, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    9. Theine, Hendrik, 2019. "The media coverage of wealth and inheritance taxation in Germany," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 290, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    10. Bastani, Spencer & Waldenström, Daniel, 2018. "How Should Capital Be Taxed? Theory and Evidence from Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 12880, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Wildauer, Rafael & Kapeller, Jakob, 2019. "A Comment on Fitting Pareto Tails to Complex Survey Data," Greenwich Papers in Political Economy 26009, University of Greenwich, Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre.
    12. Alexis Akira Toda & Yulong Wang, 2021. "Efficient minimum distance estimation of Pareto exponent from top income shares," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 36(2), pages 228-243, March.
    13. Vladimir Hlasny, 2021. "Parametric representation of the top of income distributions: Options, historical evidence, and model selection," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1217-1256, September.
    14. Hendrik Theine, 2019. "The media coverage of wealth and inheritance taxation in Germany," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp290, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    15. Sarah Kuypers & Francesco Figari & Gerlinde Verbist, 2020. "An assessment of wealth taxes in a joint income-wealth perspective," Working Papers 2006, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    16. Chakraborty Robin & Kavonius Ilja Kristian & Pérez-Duarte Sébastien & Vermeulen Philip, 2019. "Is the Top Tail of the Wealth Distribution the Missing Link between the Household Finance and Consumption Survey and National Accounts?," Journal of Official Statistics, Sciendo, vol. 35(1), pages 31-65, March.
    17. Benjamin Ferschli & Jakob Kapeller & Bernhard Schütz & Rafael Wildauer, 2017. "Bestände und Konzentration privater Vermögen in Österreich 2014/2015," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 43(4), pages 499-533.
    18. Schulz, Jan & Milaković, Mishael, 2020. "How wealthy are the rich?," BERG Working Paper Series 166, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    19. Bönke, Timm & Werder, Marten v. & Westermeier, Christian, 2017. "How inheritances shape wealth distributions: An international comparison," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 217-220.
    20. Toda, Alexis Akira, 2019. "Wealth distribution with random discount factors," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 101-113.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:ectrin:v:28:y:2020:i:4:p:637-660. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)2577-6983 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://doi.org/10.1111/(ISSN)2577-6983 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.