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Wealth and income in the euro area: Heterogeneity in households' behaviours?

  Author: Luc Arrondel, Muriel Roger, Frédérique Savignac ( European Central Bank )
 August, 2014
  Price: FREE

Abstract:

This article aims at linking the household wealth and income distributions for 15 European countries using the Household Finance and Consumption Survey. We study the role played by the household’s location in the income distributions in determining its location in the wealth distribution. A generalized ordered probit model is estimated to explain the role played by the position in the income distribution and by intergenerational transfers on the probability to be in a given wealth decile in each country. As expected, we obtain that a rise in income or having received gifts and inheritances increases the probability to be in higher wealth deciles. Most importantly, we find evidences of heterogeneity in accumulation behaviours along the wealth distribution in France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia and Spain. The relative effect of income or inheritance on wealth accumulation varies, depending on the rank of the households in the wealth distribution. We also highlight some specificity in the top of the wealth distribution.
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