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Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective$
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James B. Davies

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199548880

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548880.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 Survey Estimates of Wealth Holdings in OECD Countries: Evidence on the Level and Distribution across Selected Countries
Source:
Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective
Author(s):

Markus Jäntti

Eva Sierminska

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548880.003.0002

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

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