This study is an introduction to and summary of the 2002 Annual Meeting papers of the Royal Netherlands Economic Association. The general theme of this year's Annual Meeting is `The role of wealth in the economy'. It is covered by 5 papers, which address the following topics: (i) household portfolio behaviour, (ii) the link between household savings and house prices, (iii) pension savings from a macro perspective, (iv) capital structure and corporate investment, and (v) wealth effects and monetary policy. All papers mainly concentrate on the Dutch situation, with the exception of (v), which focuses on the euro area. The study not only gives a brief summary of each of the Annual Meeting papers, but also seeks to provide the reader with a broader perspective by emphasising international stylised facts and (recent) developments in the relevant literature.