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Chapter 9 The Distribution of Wealth

Simulating an Ageing Population: A Microsimulation Approach Applied to Sweden

ISBN: 978-0-444-53253-4, eISBN: 978-1-84950-536-9

Publication date: 9 April 2008


It is not easy to get a long perspective on the distribution of wealth in Sweden because there is no single data source that gives a consistent view for a long period of time. The early estimates of the distribution of wealth were based on the concept of tax-assessed wealth which is the basis of the wealth tax. This definition has the disadvantage of not including assets that were not taxed, and no or very unreliable data were given for the majority of the tax payers who were below the taxation threshold. Furthermore, this variable was defined for individuals and for jointly taxed individuals, but no economically meaningful household concept was available. Register data have since then improved, in particular after the late 1990s when data became available directly from banks, brokers, and insurance companies without the filtering of the tax payers. The problem with the household definition remains, but in SESIM we have made corrections to get a useful definition (see Chapter 3). A relatively large survey (HEK) run by Statistics Sweden which combines survey information about the household with register data on assets estimates the median household wealth to 156000 SEK in 1999 and 197000 SEK in 2003.2 The latter estimate is in the 1999 price level.3 These estimates apply to all households independent of age. As will be shown below, the level of wealth depends very much on age.


Flood, L. and Klevmarken, A. (2008), "Chapter 9 The Distribution of Wealth", Klevmarken, A. and Lindgren, B. (Ed.) Simulating an Ageing Population: A Microsimulation Approach Applied to Sweden (Contributions to Economic Analysis, Vol. 285), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 293-324.



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