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

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

Abstract

We provide levels of, compositions of, and inequalities in household augmented wealth – defined as the sum of net worth and pension wealth – for two countries: the United States and Germany. Pension wealth makes up a considerable portion of household wealth: about 48% in the United States and 61% in Germany. The higher share in Germany narrows the wealth gap between the two countries: While average net worth in the United States (US$337,000 in 2013) is about 1.8 times higher than in Germany, augmented wealth (US$651,000) is only 1.4 times higher. Further, the inclusion of pension wealth in household wealth reduces the Gini coefficient from 0.892 to 0.701 in the United States and from 0.765 to 0.511 in Germany.

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  • Timm Bönke & Markus M. Grabka & Carsten Schröder & Edward N. Wolff, 2017. "A Head-to-Head Comparison of Augmented Wealth in Germany and the United States," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 899, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp899
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    3. Hasan, Iftekhar & Horvath, Roman & Mares, Jan, 2020. "Finance and wealth inequality," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    4. Olivera, Javier, 2019. "The distribution of pension wealth in Europe," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 30-42.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    7. Charlotte Bartels & Carsten Schroeder, 2020. "Income, consumption and wealth inequality in Germany: Three concepts, three stories?," Basic Papers 2, Forum New Economy.
    8. 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," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 21(3), pages 335-371, September.
    9. Till van Treeck & Judith Niehues & Galina Kolev & Piotr Pysz & Peter Hampe & Andreas Peichl & Marc Stöckli & Georg Cremer, 2018. "Wie gerecht ist die Welt? – Soziale Ungleichheit und Wirtschaftswachstum," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 71(15), pages 03-25, August.
    10. 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).
    11. Dorothee Ihle, 2017. "Quantile Treatment Effects of Riester Participation on Wealth," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 954, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    net worth; pension wealth; augmented wealth; wealth portfolio; SOEP; SCF;
    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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