Inheritances and the Distribution of Wealth Or Whatever Happened to the Great Inheritance Boom?
AbstractWe found that on average over the period from 1989 to 2007, 21 percent of American households at a given point of time received a wealth transfer and these accounted for 23 percent of their net worth. Over the lifetime, about 30 percent of households could expect to receive a wealth transfer and these would account for close to 40 percent of their net worth near time of death. However, there is little evidence of an inheritance “boom.” In fact, from 1989 to 2007, the share of households reporting a wealth transfer fell by 2.5 percentage points. The average value of inheritances received among all households did increase but at a slow pace, by 10 percent, and wealth transfers as a proportion of current net worth fell sharply over this period from 29 to 19 percent or by 10 percentage points. We also found, somewhat surprisingly, that inheritances and other wealth transfers tend to be equalizing in terms of the distribution of household wealth. Indeed, the addition of wealth transfers to other sources of household wealth has had a sizeable effect on reducing the inequality of wealth.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 445.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
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Inheritance; household wealth; inequality;
Other versions of this item:
- Edward N. Wolff & Maury Gittleman, 2011. "Inheritances and the distribution of wealth or whatever happened to the great inheritance boom?," Working Paper Series 1300, European Central Bank.
- Edward N. Wolff & Maury Gittleman, 2011. "Inheritances and the Distribution of Wealth Or Whatever Happened to the Great Inheritance Boom?," BCL working papers 55, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
- D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
- J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Inheritances and the Distribution of Wealth Or Whatever Happened to the Great Inheritance Boom?
by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2011-09-08 17:52:04
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- Eleni Karagiannaki, 2011. "The Magnitude and Correlates of Inter-vivos Transfers in the UK," CASE Papers case151, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
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