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Asset Poverty in the United States, 1984-1999: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics

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Author Info

  • Asena Caner

    (Levy Institute)

  • Ed Wolff

    (Levy Institute and New York University)

Abstract

Using PSID data for the years 1984 to 1999, we estimate the level and severity of asset poverty. Our results indicate that the share of asset- poor households remained almost the same and the severity of poverty increased during this period, despite the growth in the economy and the financial markets. The race, age, education, and marital status of the household head, and homeownership, are important determinants of asset poverty. There seems to be a downward trend in the contribution to asset poverty of being a college graduate, a married elderly or a black head of household, a single mother, or a married person with children. The contributions of not having a college degree, being a 35 to 49 year-old household head, being a childless nonelderly couple, or being an unmarried elderly person seem to have increased. The contribution to net worth poverty of being a homeowner also went up. Descriptive statistics suggest that changes in the value of assets are more effective in transitions into and out of asset poverty than are changes in debt. Some lifetime events, such as changes in marital, homeownership, or business ownership status, are also correlated with the transitions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0209002.

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Length: 89 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0209002

Note: Type of Document - Microsoft Word; prepared on IBM-PC; to print on postscript; pages: 89; figures: included
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: poverty; labor market;

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References

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  1. Ann Huff Stevens, 1995. "Climbing Out of Poverty, Falling Back In: Measuring the Persistence of Poverty over Multiple Spells," NBER Working Papers 5390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert K. Triest, 1998. "Has Poverty Gotten Worse?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 97-114, Winter.
  3. Erik Hurst & Ming Ching Luoh & Frank P. Stafford, 1998. "The Wealth Dynamics of American Families, 1984-94," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 267-338.
  4. Maury Gittleman & Edward N. Wolff, 2000. "Racial Wealth Disparities: Is the Gap Closing?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_311, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  5. Joseph Tracy & Henry Schneider & Sewin Chan, 1999. "Are stocks overtaking real estate in household portfolios?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Apr).
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Cited by:
  1. Asena Caner & Edward N. Wolff, . "Asset Poverty in The United States: Its Persistence in an Expansionary Economy," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_76, Levy Economics Institute, The.
  2. Fisher, Monica G. & Weber, Bruce A., 2004. "Does Economic Vulnerability Depend On Place Of Residence? Asset Poverty Across The Rural-Urban Continuum," Working Papers 18911, Oregon State University, Rural Poverty Research Center (RPRC).

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