GINI DP 71: Mapping and Measuring the Distribution of Household Wealth: A Cross-Country Analysis
In this paper we compare the level, composition and distribution of household wealth in five industrial countries: the UK, US, Italy, Finland and Sweden. We exploit the harmonized data within the Luxembourg Wealth Study, which we have extended to allow us to examine trends in the UK and the US between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s. Remaining differences between surveys, variable definitions and coverage are highlighted to the extent that they impact on cross-country comparisons. We find that the Nordic countries have lower average wealth holdings, smaller absolute gaps between low wealth and high wealth households but high relative measures of wealth inequality. Italian households hold very little debt and are much more likely to own their homes outright, leading to relatively high median levels of wealth. In contrast American households tend to hold much more housing debt well into retirement. Increases in owner occupation and house prices 2000-05 in the UK has led to substantial increases in wealth, particularly median wealth holdings and this had led to falls in relative measures of wealth inequality such as the Gini coefficient even though absolute gaps between high and low wealth households have grown substantially. We show that there are underlying country differences in terms of distributions of age, household composition, educational attainment and income as well as wealth and debt portfolios. Educational loans are increasing in their size and prevalence in some countries and look set to create some marked differences in the distribution of wealth for different age cohorts.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam|
Web page: http://www.uva-aias.net
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Atkinson, A.B., 2006. "Concentration among the Rich," Working Paper Series RP2006/151, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Milton Friedman, 1957. "Introduction to "A Theory of the Consumption Function"," NBER Chapters, in: A Theory of the Consumption Function, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jenkins, Stephen P, 1990. " The Distribution of Wealth: Measurement and Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 329-60.
- Milton Friedman, 1957. "A Theory of the Consumption Function," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie57-1, March.
- Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini & Timothy M Smeeding, 2007. "Comparing wealth distribution across rich countries: the Luxembourg Wealth Study project," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring the financial position of the household sector", Basel, 30-31 August 2006 - Volume 1, volume 25, pages 297-310 Bank for International Settlements.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2001.
"The Role of Permanent Income and Demographics in Black/White Differences in Wealth,"
NBER Working Papers
8473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2005. "The Role of Permanent Income and Demographics in Black/White Differences in Wealth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
- Joseph G. Altonji & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2000. "The Role of Permanent Income and Demographics in Black/White Differences in Wealth," Working Papers 850, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aia:ginidp:71. 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: (Wiemer Salverda)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.