Estimating the Top Tail of the Wealth Distribution

20 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2016

Date Written: June 17, 2016


Wealth survey data suffers simultaneously from under-representation at the top and underreporting of assets. Addressing both problems, I use the Household Finance and Consumption Survey to provide new estimates of the holdings of real assets, financial assets and liabilities and net wealth of the top one percent in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands. Especially for countries doing little or no oversampling of the rich, financial asset and real asset shares held by the top 1 percent are substantially higher then survey data suggests.

Keywords: HFCN, wealth

JEL Classification: E22, E44, G01

Suggested Citation

Vermeulen, Philip, Estimating the Top Tail of the Wealth Distribution (June 17, 2016). ECB Working Paper No. 1907. Available at SSRN:

Philip Vermeulen (Contact Author)

European Central Bank (ECB) ( email )

Sonnemannstrasse 22
Frankfurt am Main, 60314

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