LI Focus on Liechtenstein’s income and wealth distribution in an international comparison

18 Jan 2024 - Neue Publikation
In the newly published LI Focus 1/2024, Andreas Brunhart and Julian Meier examine the distribution of income and wealth as well as the extent of state redistribution in Liechtenstein, along with an international comparison.

Since the financial crisis of 2008/09, the debate on fairness and inequality of opportunity and distribution has once again gained considerable scope and prominence in socio-political and academic discourse worldwide – a momentum that has been further accentuated by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic or in connection with the war in Ukraine, global inflationary trends and climate change. The publication «poverty risk and poverty 2020» (third national poverty report) published by the Office for Statistics in May 2023 was therefore eagerly awaited and for the first time provided internationally comparable figures on the distribution of income and poverty in Liechtenstein’s population.

The LI Focus 1/2024 takes a closer look at the official distribution data from an economic perspective. It thus supplements the poverty report by making additional international comparisons and also taking a closer look at the redistribution carried out by the state. The LI Focus shows that the levels of average income and wealth in Liechtenstein are very high by international standards (also if adjusted for purchasing power). However, the disposable income of the Liechtenstein population can be described as rather concentrated because it is distributed slightly more unevenly than in neighboring Switzerland, Austria and Germany or the OECD average. In addition, the extent of state redistribution through the social and tax system in Liechtenstein is moderate.