How unequal is Germany?


2. NOVEMBER 2019

Is Germany getting more unequal? The answer to this question is disputed by the country’s economists and policymakers. While some argue that the distribution of both income and wealth is becoming more unequal, others like the Council of Economic Advisors have cast doubt over this diagnosis. In order to bring clarity to this debate, Forum New Economy has launched a multi-year research project to assess the evidence. During the first phase experts have started to explore and analyze the availability of data. The results were presented at the Forum’s launch by Timm Bönke (FU Berlin) – see video. In a second phase the focus will be on identifying the main drivers of inequality, while the third and final phase will identify the policy instruments that could be used to halt the trend towards greater inequality.

The project is led by Charlotte Bartels and Carsten Schröder from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin and will benefit from input and comments by internationally-renowned experts including Branko Milanovic and Lucas Chancel from Thomas Piketty’s World Inequality lab (WIL).



The rising gap between rich and poor has become a threat to social cohesion in most rich countries. To reverse this trend it will be crucial to better understand the importance of different drivers of income and wealth inequality.