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Reichtum in Deutschland: Hohe Einkommen, ihre Struktur und Verteilung - Eine Mikroanalyse mit der Einkommensteuerstatistik für Selbständige und abhängig Beschäftigte


  • Joachim Merz

    () (LEUPHANA University Lüneburg,Department of Economic, Behaviour and Law Sciences, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)))


The distribution of societal wealth and income is of central importance for the economic, social and cultural development of a country. Independent of the respective economic and social scientific perspective the income distribution is a central brick explaining economic growth and labour market development. This article’s income distribution contribution is by pinpointing the situation of the income rich. Sound information about high income, its structure and distribution is presented based on the anonymized individual records of the income tax statistics 1995 for the first time. Embedded in a distributional analysis over the entire income range the paper concentrates on the distribution and re-distribution of high income by different ‘richness’-definitions for self-employed and employees. In addition the socioeconomic structure of the rich compared to the non-rich is described. The significance of the competiting patterns in explaining the probability to be rich is finally shown by a multivariate PROBITanalysis The paper is a revised and compressed version of my contribution to the first poverty and Wealth Report of the German government.

Suggested Citation

  • Joachim Merz, 2002. "Reichtum in Deutschland: Hohe Einkommen, ihre Struktur und Verteilung - Eine Mikroanalyse mit der Einkommensteuerstatistik für Selbständige und abhängig Beschäftigte," FFB-Discussionpaper 36, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
  • Handle: RePEc:leu:wpaper:36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-625, April.
    2. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
    3. Sen, Amartya, 1979. " Issues in the Measurement of Poverty," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 81(2), pages 285-307.
    4. Joachim Merz & Thorsten Quiel & Kshama Venkatarama, 1998. "Wer bezahlt die Steuern? Steuerbelastung und Einkommenssituation von Freien und anderen Berufen," FFB-Discussionpaper 24, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)), LEUPHANA University Lüneburg.
    5. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1984. "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroups," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(6), pages 1369-1385, November.
    6. Blackburn, McKinley L., 1989. "Interpreting the magnitude of changes in measures of income inequality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 21-25, September.
    7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-231, March.
    8. Merz, Joachim & Faik, Jürgen, 1994. "Equivalence Scales Based on Revealed Preference Consumption Expenditure Microdata - The Case of West Germany," MPRA Paper 16297, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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    More about this item


    wealth; high income; income distribution and re-distribution; income tax statistic; self-employed and employees;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • J39 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Other


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