Research Group on Aging and the Life Course (FALL)

Research: ! Inheritance and wealth distribution


Inheritance and wealth distribution

Commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Security (BMGS), 2003-2004

In association with:

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Berlin,


Never before has a generation of heirs faced a generation of testators with such large fortunes. This wealth has been accumulated in the second half of the 20th century under conditions of economic growth and political stability. We may thus expect increasing bequests and an increasing importance of them for the wealth accumulation of the inheriting generation. The study assesses the influence of bequests on the wealth accumulation and distribution of the German population, with a special focus on issues of inequality. It is based on the German Aging Survey (waves 1996 and 2002) and on the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP).


Prof. Dr. Martin Kohli (Projektleiter)
Dr. Harald Künemund (wiss. Mitarbeiter)
Claudia Vogel (wiss. Mitarbeiterin)
Markus Gilles (stud. Hilfskraft)

Dr. Jürgen Schupp (Projektleiter)
Andrea Schäfer (wiss. Mitarbeiterin)
Romy Hilbrich (stud. Hilfskraft)

Main publications

Kohli, Martin, Harald Künemund, Claudia Vogel, Markus Gilles, Jan Paul Heisig, Jürgen Schupp, Andreas Schäfer & Romy Hilbrich (2005): Zusammenhänge und Wechselwirkungen zwischen Erbschaften und Vermögensverteilung. Projektbericht an das Bundesministerium für Gesundheit und Soziale Sicherung.

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