Quotation Waltl, Sofie, Chakraborty, Robin. 2022. Missing the wealthy in the HFCS: micro problems with macro implications. Journal of Economic Inequality. 20 169-203.




Wealth aggregates implied by the Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS) usually yield much lower amounts than macroeconomic statistics reported in the National Accounts. An important source of this gap may be the under-representation of the wealthiest households in the HFCS. This article therefore combines a semi-parametric Pareto model estimated from top survey data and observations from rich lists with a non-parametric stratification approach to quantify the impact of the missing wealthy households on component-specific micro-macro gaps. We find that unadjusted micro data substantially underestimates wealth inequality. The largest effects are documented for equity. For other components, the missing wealthy explain less than ten percentage points of the micro-macro gap. We find that differences in oversampling strategies limit the cross-country comparability of unadjusted survey-implied wealth distributions and that our top tail adjustment leads to measures that are internationally better comparable.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Economic Inequality
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, VW-C
Language English
Title Missing the wealthy in the HFCS: micro problems with macro implications
Volume 20
Year 2022
Page from 169
Page to 203
Reviewed? Y
URL https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-021-09519-1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-021-09519-1
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10888-021-09519-1


Waltl, Sofie (Details)
Chakraborty, Robin (Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany)
Department of Economics (Crespo Cuaresma) (Details)
Economics of Inequality FI (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5371 Macroeconomics (Details)
5701 Applied statistics (Details)
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