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How inheritances shape wealth distributions: An international comparison

Timm Bönke (), Marten v. Werder and Christian Westermeier

Economics Letters, 2017, vol. 159, issue C, 217-220

Abstract: We use data from the European Household Finance and Consumption Survey in order to examine the distributional effect of intergenerational wealth transfers on the net worth distribution in 8 European countries and compare it to recent findings for the US. To do so, we resort to the decomposition of the coefficient of variation as suggested and applied by Wolff (1987, 2002, 2015) and Wolff and Gittleman (2014). The results seem to imply that inheritances and gifts have a vastly equalizing effect on inequality in household wealth in all 8 countries.

Keywords: Inheritance; Household wealth; Inequality; Decomposition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 E21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2017.08.007

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