HLEG Workshop on Measuring Inequalities of Income and Wealth


On 15-16 September, the High-Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (HLEG), hosted by the OECD, held a thematic workshop on Measuring Inequalities of Income and Wealth in Berlin, Germany, organised in collaboration with Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Measuring the distribution of income and wealth accurately is fraught with challenges. The information on income distribution, for example, is usually based on household surveys. In addition to the problems of comparability across countries and over time, and the fact that many surveys have data on consumption but not on income (or vice versa), household surveys feature a gross underestimation of income from capital and large discrepancies with national account aggregates in key variables (such as total consumption or the total wage bill). In the case of wealth, the paucity of data is an additional challenge. Recognising the limitations of both household surveys and administrative data (such as tax-record data), this workshop had two main objectives: establish data pre-requisites and identify appropriate methodological frameworks to measure the distribution of income and wealth as accurately and consistently as possible. 

In particular, the workshop focused on the following four topics:

  • How best to integrate household survey data with administrative registers (such as tax registers) to measure income distribution
  • Methods to measure top incomes in advanced and developing countries
  • Alternative approaches to the measurement of wealth distribution
  • Steps towards the creation of Distributional National Accounts (DINA) (i.e. a decomposition of key National Accounts Aggregates in particular household income by percentiles of the population).

Agenda, papers and presentations 


HLEG Workshop on Measuring Inequalities of Income and Wealth 

(Photo credit: © Sebastian Pfütze

Organised in collaboration with:

Bertelsmann Stiftung logo 120

HLEG logo

OECD logo 120



Related Documents