EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

The missing wealth of nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net debtors or net creditors?

Gabriel Zucman

PSE Working Papers from HAL

Abstract: This paper shows that official statistics substantially underestimate the net foreign asset positions of rich countries because they fail to capture most of the assets held by households in offshore tax havens. Drawing on systematic anomalies in portfolio investment positions and a unique Swiss dataset, I find that 8% of the global financial wealth of households is held in tax havens, 6% of which goes unrecorded. On the basis of plausible assumptions, accounting for unrecorded assets turns the eurozone, officially the world's second largest net debtor, into a net creditor. It also reduces the U.S. net debt significantly. The results shed new light on global imbalances and challenge the widespread view that, after a decade of poor-to-rich capital flows, external assets are now in poor countries and debts in rich countries. I provide concrete proposals to improve international investment statistics.

Keywords: Tax havens; International investment positions; Global imbalances (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-acc, nep-cba, nep-cis and nep-opm
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://shs.hal.science/halshs-00565224v3
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8)

Downloads: (external link)
https://shs.hal.science/halshs-00565224v3/document (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors? (2013)
Working Paper: The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors? (2013)
Working Paper: The missing wealth of nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net debtors or net creditors? (2012) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00565224

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in PSE Working Papers from HAL
Bibliographic data for series maintained by CCSD ().

 
Page updated 2024-05-07
Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00565224