Quality of life

Wealth distribution and social mobility

Report
Aktualizované
8 apríl 2021
Zverejnené
30 marec 2021
pdf
Formáty
Executive summary
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Hlavné zistenia

  • Wealth, or the lack of it, has major implications for a person’s opportunities in life. In the EU, there is an enormous gap in wealth: the gross assets of those in the top wealth quintile in the 21 EU Member States examined are 60 times larger compared to those in the bottom wealth quintile.
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  • Wealth, or the lack of it, has major implications for a person’s opportunities in life. In the EU, there is an enormous gap in wealth: the gross assets of those in the top wealth quintile in the 21 EU Member States examined are 60 times larger compared to those in the bottom wealth quintile.
  • For the wealthiest in the EU, substantial incomes are generated through self-employed business, financial assets and real estate. The least wealthy – the 4% with negative wealth – tend to be people who are young, income- and asset-poor, unemployed and renting their accommodation, and who draw on private loans and credit lines. Less than one-fifth of people with negative net wealth are homeowners with mortgages.
  • Inclusive growth, with equal opportunities as a core principle, is at the centre of the EU’s growth strategy and the European Pillar of Social Rights. To counterbalance wealth differences, public policies for equal opportunities will be required to secure good living conditions during childhood, ensure minimum educational attainment and promote access to higher education.
  • To support inclusive growth and equal opportunities, it is critical that housing policies support fair and efficient ways to increase housing supply in cities, improve public transport and incentivise teleworking to reduce the demand on overcrowded city centres. To achieve this, a balance between supporting homeownership and providing public housing will be essential.
  • The introduction of a compulsory wealth declaration would help to clamp down on hidden wealth and hidden income, and go some way towards addressing wealth inequalities. Promoting financial literacy could also foster greater asset diversification to the benefit of the less well-off.
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Zhrnutie

This report explores the distribution of household wealth in the EU Member States and analyses the role of wealth in social mobility. Using data from three datasets (the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and the Luxembourg Wealth StudyRead more

This report explores the distribution of household wealth in the EU Member States and analyses the role of wealth in social mobility. Using data from three datasets (the Household Finance and Consumption Survey, the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe and the Luxembourg Wealth Study), it focuses on wealth per household member. Wealth composition is compared across social groups and countries, and the role of housing assets in wealth distribution and negative wealth is assessed. The findings show that parental background, including parental wealth, has an impact on educational and wealth mobility. In order to promote equality of opportunities in terms of access to education and housing, the impact of wealth inequalities, including differences in parental wealth, should be counterbalanced. The report also suggests that regularising wealth declaration in the EU could be a way of promoting social justice by minimising hidden wealth and combating tax evasion.

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Formáty

  • Správa

    Počet strán: 
    108
    Referenčné č.: 
    EF20034
    ISBN: 
    978-92-897-2164-6
    Katalógové č.: 
    TJ-09-21-044-EN-N
    DOI: 
    10.2806/129514
    Catalogue info

    Wealth distribution and social mobility

    Formáty

    Citovať túto publikáciu: 

    Eurofound (2021), Wealth distribution and social mobility, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

  • Executive summary

    Referenčné č.: 
    EF20034EN1
    Catalogue info

    Wealth distribution and social mobility

    Autor(-i): 
    Eurofound

    K dispozícii na stiahnutie v jednom jazyku

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  • Working papers

    Related working papers

    • Wealth distribution and social mobility: Supplementary analyses
      Working paper
      8 apríl 2021
      Number of pages
      62
      Referenčné č.
      WPEF21056
  • Data

    A selection of data pages accompany Eurofound's report on wealth distribution and social mobility.

    The report contains the following list of tables and figures.

    List of tables

    Table 1: Missing wealth in the first edition of the HFCS, 2010 (%)

    Table 2: Average net wealth by net wealth percentiles and by country, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Table 3: Median net wealth by net wealth percentiles and by country, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Table 4: Composition of household assets and liabilities, 21 HFCS countries, 2017

    Table 5: Joint distribution of income and wealth, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Table 6: Employment status of the reference person in households in the top income and bottom wealth quintile versus other top income quintile households, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Table 7: Household groups defined by property ownership, 21 HFCS countries, 2017

    Table 8: Effect of having become a homeowner one year earlier on maximum wealth, SHARE editions 1–7 (2004–2017)

    Table 9: Effect of having become a homeowner one year earlier on maximum wealth, controlling for housing value, SHARE editions 1–7 (2004–2017)

    Table 10: Effect of an extra year of homeownership on wealth at the time of the fifth edition of SHARE, 2013 (all available countries) (PPP €)

    Table 11: Average effect of parents being homeowners on the probability of being a homeowner among those born in 1965, SHARE editions 1–7 (2004–2017) 

    Table 12: Average effect of 1% higher income on the probability of being a homeowner among those born in 1965, SHARE editions 1–7 (2004–2017)

    Table 13: Average marginal effect of a substantial financial gift or inheritance and university education on maximum wealth reported, SHARE countries, all editions (2004–2017) (%)

    Table 14: Proportion of individuals without a bath, shower or indoor flushing toilet in their household residence, 2018 (%)

    Table 15: Tertiary educational achievement and certain public policy indicators

    Overview of HFCS net sample sizes

    List of figures

    Figure 1: Wealth shares (%) and net wealth inequality (Gini coefficient), 21 HFCS countries, 2017

    Figure 2: Additional indicators of wealth inequality and wealth poverty, 22 HFCS countries

    Figure 3: Change in wealth inequality, 22 HFCS countries (Gini coefficient)

    Figure 4: Evolution of wealth inequality, 14 HFCS countries (Gini coefficient)

    Figure 5: Wealth shares over time, HFCS countries (%)

    Figure 6: Net wealth inequality within and outside the EU, LWS countries (Gini coefficient)

    Figure 7: Average portfolio by net wealth quintile, 21 HFCS countries, 2017

    Figure 8: Incidence of household asset holdings and debt liabilities, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 9: Incidence of certain types of household assets, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 10: Mean value of household asset holdings and debt liabilities, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 11: Correlation between countries of aggregate asset composition, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (Pearson correlation)

    Figure 12: Average net wealth of the bottom quintile of the wealth distribution, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 13: Incidence of financial assets other than deposits and voluntary pensions, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (% of households)

    Figure 14: Average household portfolio diversification, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (Theil index)

    Figure 15: Average household portfolio diversification by wealth quintiles, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (Theil index)

    Figure 16: Average household portfolio diversification of the top wealth quintile, within and between diversification, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (Theil index)

    Figure 17: Average net wealth across age and education groups for single-person households by gender, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 18: Median net wealth across age and education groups for single-person households by gender, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 19: Median gross income across age and education groups for single-person households by gender, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 20: Proportion of individuals with a migration background in the bottom 50% of wealth of their country of residence, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 21: Cross-country differences in wealth and income inequality (Gini coefficient)

    Figure 22: Employment status breakdown by wealth bracket, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 23: Average income by source and wealth bracket, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 24: Proportion of those who were self-employed without employees by wealth bracket, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 25: Proportion of households with negative wealth with and without housing wealth, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 26: Incidence of non-mortgage debt among households with and without negative wealth, 20 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 27: Incidence of credit lines and private loans among households with and without negative wealth, 20 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 28: Negative net wealth household assets per capita as a percentage of the mean of the country, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 29: Distribution of negative wealth households across income quintiles, 20 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 30: Ratio of household income to regular monthly expenses with and without private transfers, 20 HFCS countries, 2017

    Figure 31: Proportion of households with someone unemployed: negative versus positive wealth households, 20 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 32: Net wealth inequality with and without real estate assets and mortgages, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (Gini coefficient)

    Figure 33: Proportion of individuals in housing status groups, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 34: Proportion of households that rent their main residence and have no other properties, by age of the reference person, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 35: Net wealth inequality within housing status groups, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (Gini coefficient)

    Figure 36: Proportions of individuals in the bottom wealth quintile according to housing status, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 37: Real house price index (historical average = 100), Q1 1970–Q4 2019

    Figure 38: Proportion of individuals with more than 80% of their assets in deposits and real estate, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 39: Incidence of financial assets other than deposits and voluntary pensions by housing status, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 40: Housing cost burden of homeowners and renters: median rent or mortgage payment/gross income, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 41: Net wealth across age and education groups according to receipt of substantial gifts or inheritances, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (€)

    Figure 42: Proportion of university degree holders in the top 5% of the net wealth distribution, 21 HFCS countries, 2017 (%)

    Figure 43: Average marginal effect of fathers’ education on the probability of children achieving different education levels – Italy

    Figure 44: Average marginal effect of having a father with a university instead of a primary education on the probability of achieving different education levels (difference in probability), SHARE countries

    Figure 45: Average marginal effect of wealth transfer (gifts or inheritance) on the probability of different educational outcomes (difference in probability)

    Figure 46: Average marginal effect of wealth transfers on the probability of being in the top 50% of one’s 10-year age cohort in terms of educational attainment (difference in probability)

    Figure 47: Average marginal effect of receiving a substantial inheritance or gift on the probability of achieving different education levels (difference in probability), SHARE countries, all editions (2004–2017)

    Figure 48: Average marginal effect of material conditions during upbringing (rooms per people in household and any basic amenity) on the probability of achieving different education levels (difference in probability), SHARE countries, all editions (2004–2017)  

    Figure 49: Change in the number of dwellings per 1,000 inhabitants from 2010 to 2018, OECD countries

    Figure 50: Proportion of vacant dwellings, 2018 or latest year available (%)

    Figure 51: Wealth-related tax revenues, OECD countries, 2018 (% of GDP)

This report presents the results of research conducted largely prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe in February 2020. For this reason, the results do not fully take account of the outbreak.

Výskum, ktorý bol vykonaný pred vystúpením Spojeného kráľovstva z Európskej únie dňa 31. januára 2020, a následne uverejnený, môže obsahovať údaje týkajúce sa 28 členských štátov EÚ. Po tomto dátume sa vo výskume bude zohľadňovať len 27 členských štátov EÚ (EÚ 28 mínus Spojené kráľovstvo), ak sa neuvádza inak.

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