Household Wealth and its Distribution in Ireland
We do not know the distribution of household wealth in Ireland. The reason is straightforward. We do not yet have sufficiently high-quality data usable for distributional analysis – the type of analysis that would allow us to know what groups within society own what share of wealth. We cannot even be certain about aggregate net wealth in Ireland or of the composition of wealth by asset type.
Household balance sheet data, such as quarterly accounts data, is of minimal use for distributional analysis as it provides only aggregate data and excludes certain types of asset. On the other hand, survey data contain systemic biases due to the undervaluation and/or omission of certain asset types – for example, financial and personal assets.