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Changes in Household Wealth in the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S

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  • Edward N. Wolff

Abstract

I find that despite slow growth in income over the 1990s, there have been marked improvements in the wealth position of average families. Both mean and median wealth grew briskly in the late 1990s. The inequality of net worth leveled off even though income inequality continued to rise over this period. Indebtedness also fell substantially during the late 1990s. However, the concentration of investment type assets generally remained as high in 2001 as during the previous two decades. The racial disparity in wealth holdings, after stabilizing during most of the 1990s, widened in the years between 1998 and 2001, and the wealth of Hispanics actually declined in real terms between 1998 and 2001. Wealth also shifted in relative terms away from young households (under age 45) toward elderly ones (age 65 and over).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_407.

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Date of creation: May 2004
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_407

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  1. Blau, Francine D & Graham, John W, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 321-39, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Athreya, Kartik & Tam, Xuan S. & Young, Eric R., 2009. "Unsecured credit markets are not insurance markets," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 83-103, January.
  2. Davide Fiaschi & Matteo Marsili, 2006. "Distribution of Wealth: Theoretical Microfoundations and Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 49, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Robert Buchele & Douglas L. Kruse & Loren Rodgers & Adria Scharf, 2010. "Show Me the Money: Does Shared Capitalism Share the Wealth?," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 351-375 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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