Working Paper

The rich, the clean, and the kind - a comprehensive wealth index for cities applied to the case of Germany


  • Dovern
  • J.
  • Quaas
  • M.
  • Rickels
  • W.
Publication Date

We develop a comprehensive wealth index for cities that measures their endowment with environmental, energy, social, human, and economic capital stocks. We apply this index to the 100 largest autonomous cities in Germany. We find that (i) a good economic performance does not need to come at the cost of environmental degradation; (ii) clear regional differences exist between West and East Germany and between North and South Germany; and (iii) social preferences reflected in the comprehensive wealth index account for roughly half of the variation in housing rents, which reflect individual willingness to pay for living in a certain city.

Kiel Institute Expert


JEL Classification
Q56, R11

Key Words

  • city
  • comprehensive wealth
  • preferences