Skip to content!

Wealth-Holders at the Top (WATT): An Interdisciplinary Research Network

Current Project

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Carsten Schröder

Project Period

March 1, 2020 - October 31, 2024

Funded by

DFG - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

How much do Germany’s top wealth holders own in assets? What are their socio-demographic and psychological characteristics? How do the rich get rich in the first place? And how involved are they in civic and political activities? The project Wealth-Holders at the Top (WATT) seeks to answer these key questions. The aim is to understand the extent, causes, and consequences of economic inequalities. The insights gained through WATT will provide a sound empirical basis for policy decisions.

Up to now, there has been a severe lack of data on top wealth holders in Germany. Through the use of an innovative sampling design, the SOEP has created a database on top wealth holders that is unique worldwide. Based on data from more than 270 million companies around the world, SOEP researchers selected all individuals who are both German residents and registered shareholders in at least one company. These formed the population for the new SOEP sample (N=2,000), which has been surveyed since late 2018. Respondents are interviewed using the standard SOEP-Core questionnaires, including the wealth module.

Workshop "Unveiling Wealth and Income Equalities" - October 26 and 27, 2023 at DIW Berlin

On October 26 and 27, 2023, a workshop focusing on "Unveiling Wealth and Income Equalities" will take place at DIW Berlin - with Martin Blomhoff Holm and Bertrand Garbintiand as keynote speakers plus many exciting presentations.

Here (PDF, 209.22 KB) you can download the complete two-day program overview.

DIW Team

Media Coverage - Personality of the Rich

Here are the personality traits of the self-made millionaire
Research Digest

Millionaires more risk-tolerant and emotionally stable

Psychologische Studie: Ticken Sie wie ein Millionär?
Report in the FAZ on the personality of the wealthy

Testen Sie sich selbst: Ticken Sie wie ein Millionär?
Online calculator to match your own personality with that of the rich