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Wealth Inequality and Homeownership in Europe

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  • Leo Kaas

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

  • Georgi Kocharkov

    () (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)

  • Edgar Preugschat

    () (Technical University Dortmund, Germany)

Abstract

The recently published Household Finance and Consumption Survey has revealed large differences in wealth inequality between the countries of the Euro area. We find a strong negative correlation between wealth inequality and homeownership rates across countries. We use two decomposition methods to shed more light on this correlation. First, a Gini decomposition by homeownership status shows that the negative relationship is mostly driven by large between-group inequality across owners and renters. Second, to control for other observables, we conduct a detailed counterfactual decomposition of cross-country inequality differences. We confirm the major role for homeownership rates in accounting for the wealth inequality differences. Our analysis suggests that the cross-country variation is mostly driven by differences in the savings behavior of households in the bottom half of the wealth distribution and that those differences in savings are to a large extent channeled through housing wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat, 2015. "Wealth Inequality and Homeownership in Europe," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2015-18, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  • Handle: RePEc:knz:dpteco:1518
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    File URL: http://www.uni-konstanz.de/FuF/wiwi/workingpaperseries/WP_18_Kaas-Kocharkov-Preugschat_2015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pham-Dao, Lien, 2016. "Public Insurance and Wealth Inequality - A Euro Area Analysis," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145942, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Anna Boldizsár & Zsuzsa Kékesi & Balázs Kóczián & Balázs Sisak, 2016. "The Wealth Position of Hungarian Households based on HFCS," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 15(4), pages 115-150.
    3. repec:bfr:rueban:2018:55 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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).
    5. Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat, 2016. "Does Homeownership Promote Wealth Accumulation?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2016-03, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    6. repec:nbp:nbpbik:v:48:y:2017:i:3:p:295-326 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Leo Kaas & Georgi Kocharkov & Edgar Preugschat & Nawid Siassi, 2017. "Low Homeownership in Germany - A Quantitative Exploration," CESifo Working Paper Series 6775, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wealth Inequality; Homeownership; Housing; Euro Area;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions

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