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Wealth and Asset Holdings of Immigrants in Germany

  • Mathias Sinning

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This paper examines the relative wealth position and the portfolio choices of immigrants in Germany. The empirical findings reveal significant differences in overall wealth and various wealth components between German natives and immigrants. Differences in real estate constitute the major part of different levels of net worth, indicating that disparities in home-ownership rates are responsible for the main part of the overall wealth gap. Moreover, migrants’ degree of portfolio diversification is significantly lower than that of comparable natives. The results of a decomposition analysis suggest that diffrences in wealth and asset holdings may be explained by disparity in educational attainment to a sizable extent, while the effects of income differentials and differences in demographic characteristics are insignificant.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0030.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0030
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  1. Mathias Sinning, 2007. "Determinants of Savings and Remittances – Empirical Evidence from Immigrants to Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0023, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2006. "The Wealth of Mexican Americans," CEPR Discussion Papers 519, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hildebrand, Vincent A., 2002. "The Wealth and Asset Holdings of U.S.- Born and Foreign-Born Households: Evidence from SIPP Data," IZA Discussion Papers 674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2006. "The Portfolio Choices of Hispanic Couples," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1344-1363.
  5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," CESifo Working Paper Series 2307, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Augustin De Coulon & François-Charles Wolff, 2005. "Immigrants at retirement: stay/return or 'va-et-vient'?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19890, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
  8. George J. Borjas, 1994. "The Economics of Immigration," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1667-1717, December.
  9. Holger Bonin & Amelie Constant & Konstantinos Tatsiramos & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2006. "Native-Migrant Differences in Risk Attitudes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 560, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Schmidt, Christoph M., 1997. "Immigrant performance in Germany: Labor earnings of ethnic German migrants and foreign guest-workers," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(Supplemen), pages 379-397.
  11. John Gibson & Trinh Le & Steven Stillman, 2007. "What explains the wealth gap between immigrants and the New Zealand born?," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(2), pages 131-162.
  12. Carroll, Christopher D & Rhee, Byung-Kun & Rhee, Changyong, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-99, August.
  13. Francine D. Blau & John W. Graham, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," NBER Working Papers 2898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Borjas, George J, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 531-53, September.
  15. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Remittances as insurance: evidence from Mexican immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 227-254, June.
  16. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
  17. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "The Retirement Expectations of Middle-Aged Individuals," IZA Discussion Papers 2449, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Deng, Saiying (Esther) & Elyasiani, Elyas & Mao, Connie X., 2007. "Diversification and the cost of debt of bank holding companies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 2453-2473, August.
  19. Thomas K. Bauer & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Vincent Hildebrand & Mathias Sinning, 2007. "A Comparative Analysis of the Nativity Wealth Gap," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 184, McMaster University.
  20. Heather Antecol & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Stephen J. Trejo, . "Immigration Policy and the Skills of Immigrants to Australia, Canada, and the United States," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2001-26, Claremont Colleges.
  21. Frank P. Stafford & Ngina S. Chiteji, 1999. "Portfolio Choices of Parents and Their Children as Young Adults: Asset Accumulation by African-American Families," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 377-380, May.
  22. Dustmann, Christian, 1997. "Return migration, uncertainty and precautionary savings," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 295-316, April.
  23. Galor, Oded & Stark, Oded, 1990. "Migrants' Savings, the Probability of Return Migration and Migrants' Performance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 31(2), pages 463-67, May.
  24. Djajic, Slobodan, 1989. "Migrants in a guest-worker system : A utility maximizing approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 327-339, October.
  25. de Coulon, Augustin & Wolff, François-Charles, 2006. "The Location of Immigrants at Retirement: Stay/Return or ‘Va-et-Vient’?," IZA Discussion Papers 2224, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Dustmann, C, 1993. "Earnings Adjustment of Temporary Migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 153-68, May.
  27. Shamsuddin, Abul F M & DeVoretz, Don J, 1998. "Wealth Accumulation of Canadian and Foreign-Born Households in Canada," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(4), pages 515-33, December.
  28. Maury Gittleman & Edward N. Wolff, 2004. "Racial Differences in Patterns of Wealth Accumulation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  29. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2002. "Precautionary Saving by Young Immigrants and Young Natives," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 48-71, July.
  30. Iftekhar Hasan & Anthony Saunders & Viral V. Acharya, 2002. "Should banks be diversified? Evidence from individual bank loan portfolios," BIS Working Papers 118, Bank for International Settlements.
  31. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The intergenerational transmission of risk and trust attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20051, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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