The richest 1% is richer than previously thought
and instead of an estimate of the richest controlling 30% of US wealth it
may be as high as 37%, while Germany’s richest hold 33% of the country's wealth
compared with the 24% survey data previously indicated, according to European
Central Bank (ECB) research.
Philip Vermeulen, an economist at the ECB,
a paper that by using data from Forbes' billionaires lists in a new
analysis, his estimates the share of wealth controlled by America's top 1% is
between 35% and 37%.
"Our knowledge of the wealth distribution is less than perfect," Vermeulen
writes. "Our results clearly indicate that survey wealthy estimates are very
likely to underestimate wealth at the top."
The paper says: "Good measurement of these
relative shares of wealth holdings are important. For instance, macro-economic
models are sometimes calibrated using these shares. In addition, the wealth
distribution is a topic of broad public interest. "
It adds: "Up to recently, relatively little was
known about the wealth distribution of households for most countries in the euro
area. That should not be too surprising. Knowledge of thewealth distribution of
households is only possible if it is somehow measured."
The rich tend to understate their wealth in
The richest Italians control 20% of national
wealth compared with the 14% earlier suggested.
In the Netherlands, for instance, the top 1% of
the wealthy are estimated to control 26% of the country's wealth, but
Vermeulen's analysis boosted that to 28% to 35%.