CANCELED: Charlotte Bartels Presents: Wealth Inequality in Germany, 1895-2017

MAR 26, 2020 | 4:30 AM TO 6:30 AM



The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue




March 26, 2020: 4:30 AM-6:30 AM





Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC)


This paper provides the first long-run wealth inequality series for Germany from 1895 to 2017, from the period of industrialization until the present day. We introduce a new method to harmonize and combine the universe of wealth data to measure wealth inequality across the entire population, ranging from wealth tax data, household balance sheets to different survey data. Our results indicate that wealth concentration in Germany was high in the industrialization period, when the top 1% captured more than half of total net wealth. After World War II, wealth inequality substantially declined, but recently started to increase.

Charlotte Bartels is a Research Associate at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW). She received her Ph.D. in economics for her thesis „Insurance and Redistribution in the German welfare state“ from the Freie Universitaet Berlin in 2013, which won the Roman Herzog Award 2015 for Social Market Economy Research and the Wolfgang-Ritter-Award 2015. Thereafter, she worked as coordinator of the Ph.D. program „Public Economics and Inequality“ until 2015. She visited the Economics Department of Uppsala University in 2015 and the Economics Department of the University of California, Berkeley, in 2018. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies (UCFS) and the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA). Her research interests lie in the fields of empirical public and labor economics as well as economic history. She is particularly concerned with the distribution of income and wealth both current and in historical perspective and the redistributive and stabilizing impact of tax-benefit systems and their effect on labor market behavior. She contributes the German long-run inequality series to the World Inequality Database (WID). She has published in the Journal of Economic History, International Tax and Public Finance, the Review of Income and Wealth, and the Journal of Economic Inequality. Currently, she is working on a long-run wealth inequality series for Germany. In other current projects, she investigates the underlying mechanisms of changes in the distribution of income and wealth.