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Accounting for Pension Wealth, the Missing Rich and Under-coverage: A Comprehensive Wealth Distribution for Germany

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Charlotte Bartels, Timm Bönke, Rick Glaubitz, Markus M. Grabka, Carsten Schröder

In: Economics Letters 231 (2023), 111299, 5 S.


This study constructs a comprehensive wealth distribution for Germany to inform debate in Germany and internationally on the distribution of wealth including pension entitlements. We estimate the net present value of pension wealth in Germany in 2012 and 2017 using Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) data. When including pension wealth, German households’ wealth-income ratio increases from 570% to 850% in 2017; the wealth share of the bottom 50% increases from 2% to 9%; and the wealth share of the top 1% declines from 30% to 20%.

Timm Bönke

Co-Head in the Macroeconomics Department

Charlotte Bartels

Research Associate in the German Socio-Economic Panel study 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: Wealth distribution, augmented wealth, pension wealth