Historical Social Research

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Benjamin Beckers, Ralf K. Himmelreicher & Carsten Schröder, The Evolution of Tangibles, Financial and Social Security Wealth over the Lifecycle: Estimates for Germany [Abstract]

Using survey and administrative micro data, we describe the wealth distribution in Germany between 1978 and 2003, focusing on the birth cohort 1939 to 1953 resident in West Germany. Estimates are provided for three types of wealth, financial wealth, real wealth and social security wealth, i.e. the number of accumulated earning points in Germany’s public pension insurance. While financial and real wealth are rather unequally distributed, inequality in accumulated earning points is substantially lower, indicating that Germany’s pay-as-you-go pension system plays a prominent role in mitigating the inequality in overall wealth after retirement.