Chapter

Survey Estimates of Wealth Holdings in OECD Countries: Evidence on the Level and Distribution across Selected Countries

Markus Jäntti and Eva Sierminska

in Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548880
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720765 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548880.003.0002

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Survey Estimates of Wealth Holdings in OECD Countries: Evidence on the Level and Distribution across Selected Countries

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This study discusses issues that arise in the comparison of estimates of wealth holdings and their distribution in the light of data for selected OECD countries. This chapter finds large differences in the level of wealth, depending on whether the mean or median levels are compared across countries. Sensitivity of wealth estimates to survey design are evident in that, even within countries, the ranking of two different surveys depends on how central tendency is measured. Comparisons of the composition of household wealth based on secondary data, as well as the distribution of net worth, are difficult because comparable data are scarce. The evidence suggests that country ranking by level of net worth inequality is similar to that by income inequality, and that net worth inequality has tended to increase across the countries we examine.

Keywords: net worth; wealth level; wealth inequality; OECD

Chapter.  6129 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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