The ownership of assets and the role of age: age-specific household balance sheets for Euro area countries

Bernhard Hammer, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

This paper uses micro data on household wealth to construct age-specific balance sheets for the household sector in 13 euro area countries . These data complement the information captured in National Transfer Accounts (NTA), which are a system of satellite accounts that break down National Accounts by age. So far NTA include only information on age averages of flows, such as asset income and saving. The age-specific balance sheets provide information on the stock and the type of assets held by individuals as well as information on the distribution of assets within age groups. They illustrate the large differences in level, type and age pattern of asset ownership across countries. However, they also show that these results are largely driven by the group of wealthy households. With the exception of home ownership the value of assets is rather low in the majority of households in all the analysed countries.

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Presented in Session 26: Aging and retirement