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

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

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

In: The Scandinavian Journal of Economics 122 (2020), 3,S. 1140-1180


We examine the composition of augmented household wealth, the sum of net worth and pension wealth, in the United States and Germany. Pension wealth makes up a considerable portion of household wealth of about 48% in the United States and 61% in Germany. When pension wealth is included in household wealth, the Gini coefficient falls from 0.889 to 0.700 in the United States and from 0.755 to 0.508 in Germany. If the wealth shares in Germany were the same as in the United States, this would lead to a 12.6% increase in the Gini coefficient in the augmented wealth distribution in Germany.

Timm Bönke

Co-Head in the Macroeconomics Department

Carsten Schröder

Board of Directors SOEP and Division Head Applied Panel Analysis in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

Markus M. Grabka

Board of Directors SOEP & Acting Division Head in the German Socio-Economic Panel study Department

JEL-Classification: D31;H55;J32
Keywords: Augmented wealth, net worth, pension wealth, Socio‐Economic Panel, Survey of Consumer Finances

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