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A Head-to-Head Comparison of Augmented Wealth in Germany and the United States

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

Abstract

We examine the composition of augmented household wealth (i.e., the sum of net worth and pension wealth) in the United States and Germany. Pension wealth makes up a considerable portion of household wealth, of about 48 percent in the United States and 61 percent in Germany. When pension wealth is included in household wealth, the Gini coefficient falls from 0.889 to 0.700 in the United States, and from 0.755 to 0.508 in Germany. If the wealth shares in Germany were the same as in the United States, this would lead to a 12.6 percent increase in the Gini coefficient in the augmented wealth distribution in Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:232057
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    3. Ihle, Dorothee, 2017. "Quantile treatment effects of Riester participation on wealth," CAWM Discussion Papers 96, University of Münster, Münster Center for Economic Policy (MEP).
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    5. Sierminska, Eva & Wroński, Marcin, 2022. "Inequality and Public Pension Entitlements," GLO Discussion Paper Series 1212, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Marcin Wroński, 2023. "The Displacement Effects of Social Security Wealth in a Transition Economy: The Case of Poland," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 1, pages 19-40.
    7. 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.
    8. Andreas Peichl & Marc Stöckli, 2018. "Ungleichheit und Umverteilung in Deutschland: Trends und Handlungsoptionen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 71(15), pages 18-22, August.
    9. Peichl Andreas & Hufe Paul & Stöckli Marc, 2018. "Ökonomische Ungleichheit in Deutschland – ein Überblick," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 19(3), pages 185-199, September.
    10. Anthony Shorrocks & James Davies, 2018. "Comparing global inequality of income and wealth," WIDER Working Paper Series 160, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Philipp M. Lersch & Emanuela Struffolino & Agnese Vitali, 2022. "Wealth in Couples: Introduction to the Special Issue," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 38(4), pages 623-641, October.
    12. Bartels, Charlotte & Neumann, Dirk, 2021. "Redistribution and Insurance in Welfare States around the World," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 123(4), pages 1116-1158.
    13. Daniel Waldenström, 2021. "Wealth and History: An Update," CESifo Working Paper Series 9366, CESifo.
    14. Markus Knell & Reinhard Koman, 2022. "Pension Entitlements and Net Wealth in Austria (Markus Knell, Reinhard Koman)," Working Papers 238, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    15. Fuest, Clemens, 2021. "Zur Debatte über die Einführung einer Nettovermögensteuer in Deutschland," Studien, Stiftung Familienunternehmen / Foundation for Family Businesses, number 250020, June.
    16. 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," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 21(3), pages 335-371.
    17. Olivera, Javier, 2019. "The distribution of pension wealth in Europe," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 30-42.
    18. Janusz Jabłonowski, 2021. "MPC out of Augmented Wealth in Poland," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, vol. 13(3), pages 253-286, September.
    19. Charlotte Bartels & Carsten Schroeder, 2020. "Income, consumption and wealth inequality in Germany: Three concepts, three stories?," Basic Papers 2, Forum New Economy.
    20. Till van Treeck & Judith Niehues & Galina Kolev & Piotr Pysz & Peter Hampe & Andreas Peichl & Marc Stöckli & Georg Cremer, 2018. "How Fair Is the World? – Social Inequality and Economic Growth," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 71(15), pages 03-25, August.
    21. James B. Davies & Anthony F. Shorrocks, 2018. "Comparing global inequality of income and wealth," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2018-160, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    22. Waldenström, Daniel, 2021. "Wealth and History: An Update," Working Paper Series 1411, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Augmented wealth; net worth; pension wealth; Socio-Economic Panel; Survey of Consumer Finances;
    All these keywords.

    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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