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The global pattern of household wealth

Author

Listed:
  • James B. Davies

    (University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada)

  • Susanna Sandström

    (UN World Food Programme, Rome, Italy)

  • Anthony Shorrocks

    (UNU-WIDER, Henskinki, Finland)

  • Edward Wolff

    (New York University, NY, USA)

Abstract

We provide the first estimate of the level and distribution of global household wealth. The level of assets and debts for 39 countries are measured using household balance sheet and survey data centred on the year 2000. Average wealth holdings are imputed to countries lacking direct evidence. Microdata on household wealth distribution are assembled for 20 countries. Wealth inequality is imputed to other countries from the observed relation between wealth and income distribution in these countries. We find that the top 10 per cent owned 85 per cent of world wealth, and the Gini coefficient was 0.893, greater than that for the global distribution of income. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • James B. Davies & Susanna Sandström & Anthony Shorrocks & Edward Wolff, 2009. "The global pattern of household wealth," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1111-1124.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:21:y:2009:i:8:p:1111-1124
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1648
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1648
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James B. Davies & Susanna Sandström & Anthony Shorrocks & Edward N. Wolff, 2007. "Estimating the Level and Distribution of Global Household Wealth," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20075, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ben Crow & Nichole Zlatunich & Brian Fulfrost, 2009. "Mapping global inequalities: Beyond income inequality to multi-dimensional inequalities," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1051-1065.
    2. F. Clementi & M. Gallegati & G. Kaniadakis, 2012. "A generalized statistical model for the size distribution of wealth," Papers 1209.4787, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2012.
    3. Mario Holzner & Stefan Jestl, 2015. "Of proprietors and proletarians," Working Paper Reihe der AK Wien - Materialien zu Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft 141, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik.
    4. Stefan Jestl & Mario Holzner & Sebastian Leitner, 2015. "Immobilienvermögen und Hypothekarverschuldung der Haushalte im Europavergleich," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 41(1), pages 49-70.

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