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The rich and the poor: demographics of the U.S. wealth distribution

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  • John C. Weicher
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    Abstract

    In this article, John C. Weicher extends his 1995 and 1996 reports on the distribution of U.S. wealth to present a detailed examination of the demographics of the richest and poorest households. He concludes that concern over the concentration of wealth should be tempered by the apparent fact that "the rich" are a changing group, even over short periods of time. Among his other interesting findings is the observation that most of our nation's rich are entrepreneurs in the American tradition. Less than 8 percent of the net worth of households in the richest 1 percent comes from inheritance, and more than half of the richest households did not inherit anything.

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    File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/97/07/9707jw.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

    Volume (Year): (1997)
    Issue (Month): Jul ()
    Pages: 25-37

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:1997:i:jul:p:25-37

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    Related research

    Keywords: Wealth ; Income distribution ; Demography;

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    1. Robert B. Avery & Gregory E. Elliehausen, 1986. "Financial characteristics of high-income families," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Mar, pages 163-177.
    2. John C. Weicher, 1995. "Changes in the distribution of wealth: increasing inequality?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 5-23.
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    Cited by:
    1. Eisenhauer, Joseph G., 2011. "The rich, the poor, and the middle class: Thresholds and intensity indices," Research in Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 294-304, December.

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