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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

Research on wealth inequality usually focuses on real and financial assets, while pension wealth – the present value of future pension entitlements from public and company pension schemes – receives little attention. This is astonishing, given that pension plans play an important role for material security and well‐being for an overwhelming part of the population and, thus, should be accounted for in peoples’ wealth portfolios. Using novel data from the Socio Economic Panel (SOEP), we show 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Timm Bönke & Markus M. Grabka & Carsten Schröder & Edward N. Wolff & Lennard Zyska, 2016. "The Joint Distribution of Net Worth and Pension Wealth in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 853, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp853
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joachim R. Frick & Markus M. Grabka, 2010. "Old-Age Pension Entitlements Mitigate Inequality: But Concentration of Wealth Remains High," Weekly Report, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 6(8), pages 55-64.
    2. Bottazzi, Renata & Jappelli, Tullio & Padula, Mario, 2006. "Retirement expectations, pension reforms, and their impact on private wealth accumulation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(12), pages 2187-2212, December.
    3. Christian Pfarr & Udo Schneider, 2011. "Anreizeffekte und Angebotsinduzierung im Rahmen der Riester‐Rente: Eine empirische Analyse geschlechts‐ und sozialisationsbedingter Unterschiede," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 27-46, February.
    4. Alessie, Rob & Angelini, Viola & van Santen, Peter, 2013. "Pension wealth and household savings in Europe: Evidence from SHARELIFE," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 308-328.
    5. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Soren Leth-Petersen & Torben Heien Nielsen & Tore Olsen, 2013. "Subsidies vs. Nudges: Which Policies Increase Saving the Most?," Issues in Brief ib2013-3, Center for Retirement Research.
    6. Joachim R. Frick & Bruce Headey, 2009. "Living Standards in Retirement: Accepted International Comparisons are Misleading," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 309-319.
    7. Markus M. Grabka & Christian Westermeier, 2014. "Persistently High Wealth Inequality in Germany," DIW Economic Bulletin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 4(6), pages 3-15.
    8. Schenker, Nathaniel & Taylor, Jeremy M. G., 1996. "Partially parametric techniques for multiple imputation," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 425-446, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bofinger, Peter & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Wieland, Volker, 2018. "Vor wichtigen wirtschaftspolitischen Weichenstellungen. Jahresgutachten 2018/19," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201819, September.
    2. Timm Bönke & Markus M. Grabka & Carsten Schröder & Edward N. Wolff, 2020. "A Head‐to‐Head Comparison of Augmented Wealth in Germany and the United States," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 122(3), pages 1140-1180, July.
    3. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920, September.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:ajk:ajkpbs:001 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    net worth; pension wealth; augmented wealth; SOEP; age wealth profiles;

    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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