Personal Wealth from a Global Perspective

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There is great media fascination in the activities and lifestyles of the super-rich. But personal wealth is also important for those of more modest means - as a store of potential consumption, as a cushion against emergencies, and as collateral for business and investment loans. This book is the first global study of household assets and debts. It documents not only the level, distribution, and trend of wealth holdings in rich nations, but also addresses developing countries like China and India. The situation in Latin America and Africa is given attention along with the experiences of Russia and other transition countries. Components of household wealth like financial assets, land, and property are examined, as well as the gender division. Worldwide, it is estimated that the richest 2% own more than half of total global wealth, and that this group resides almost exclusively in North America, Western Europe, and rich Asia-Pacific countries.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

James B. Davies received his BA from the University of Manitoba (1973) and his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics (1979). A faculty member at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, since 1977, he served as Chair of the Department of Economics from 1992 to 2001. Davies is the author of two books and numerous articles in academic journals and scholarly volumes. He has advised the Ontario and Canadian governments as well as the World Bank. Currently the managing editor of Canadian Public Policy, Davies has served for the last three years as director of the UNU-WIDER research project Personal Assets from a Global Perspective.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

List of Acronyms and Abbreviations

1 An Overview of Personal Wealth James B. Davies Davies, James B. 1

Pt. I The Rich and the Super-Rich

2 Survey Estimates of Wealth Holdings in OECD Countries: Evidence on the Level and Distribution across Selected Countries Markus Jantti Jantti, Markus Eva Sierminska Sierminska, Eva 27

3 Long-Run Changes in the Concentration of Wealth: An Overview of Recent Findings Henry Ohlsson Ohlsson, Henry Jesper Raine Raine, Jesper Daniel Waldenstrom Waldenstrom, Daniel 42

4 Concentration among the Rich Anthony B. Atkinson Atkinson, Anthony B. 64

Pt. II Wealth Holdings in the Developing World and Transition Countries

5 Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in China, 1995-2002 Shi Li Shi, Li Renwei Zhao Zhao, Renwei 93

6 The Distribution of Household Wealth in India S. Subramanian Subramanian, S. D. Jayataj Jayataj, D. 112

7 The Evolution of Personal Wealth in the Fonner Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe Sergei Guriev Guriev, Sergei Andrei Rachinsky Rachinsky, Andrei 114

8 Household Wealth in Latin America Florencia Torche Torche, Florencia Seymour Spilerman Spilerman, Seymour 150

9 Land Reform and Land Holdings in Brazil Juliano Assuncao Assuncao, Juliano 177

10 Estimating the Balance Sheet of the Personal Sector in an Emerging Market Country: South Africa, 1975-2005 Janine Aron Aron, Janine John Muellbauer Muellbauer, John Johan Prinslao Prinslao, Johan 196

11 Asset Portfolios in Africa: Evidence from Rural Ethiopia Christian Rogg Rogg, Christian 224

12 Marketable Wealth in a Poor African Country: Wealth Accumulation by Households in Ghana Ronelle Burger Burger, RonelleFrikkie Booysen Booysen, Frikkie Servaas van der Berg van der Berg, Servaas Michael von Maltitz von Maltitz, Michael 248

Pt. III The Role of Personal Assets in Economic Development and Performance

13 Household Financial Assets in the Process of Development Patrick Hanahan Hanahan, Patrick 271

14 Housing and Personal Wealth in a Global Context John Muellbauer Muellbauer, John 293

15 Housing Privatization and Household Wealth in Transition Ruslan Yemtsov Yemtsov, Ruslan 312

16 Land Titles, Credit Markets, and Wealth Distributions James C. MacGee MacGee, James C. 334

17 Gender and the Distribution of Wealth in Developing Countries Carmen Diana Deere Deere, Carmen Diana Cheryl R. Doss Doss, Cheryl R. 353

18 The Informal Sector in Developing Countries: Output, Assets, and Employment Sangeeta Pratap Pratap, Sangeeta Erwan Quintin Quintin, Erwan 373

Pt. IV The Global Picture

19 The World Distribution of Household Wealth James B. Davies Davies, James B. Susanna Sandstrom Sandstrom, Susanna Anthony Shorrocks Shorrocks, Anthony Edward N. Wolff Wolff, Edward N. 395

References 419

Index 455

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