IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v99y2009i1p146-78.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Women, Wealth, and Mobility

Author

Listed:
  • Lena Edlund
  • Wojciech Kopczuk

Abstract

Using estate tax returns data, we observe that the share of women among the very wealthy in the United States peaked in the late 1960s at nearly one-half and then declined to one-third. We argue that this pattern reflects changes in the importance of dynastic wealth, with the share of women proxying for inherited wealth. If so, wealth mobility decreased until the 1970s and rose thereafter. Such an interpretation is consistent with technological change driving longterm trends in mobility and inequality, as well as the recent divergence between top wealth and top income shares documented elsewhere. (JEL D31, J16, J62, O33)

Suggested Citation

  • Lena Edlund & Wojciech Kopczuk, 2009. "Women, Wealth, and Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 146-178, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:146-78
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.146
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.1.146
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/mar09/20060527_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martin Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2002. "The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feld02-1, September.
    2. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2007. "Bequest and Tax Planning: Evidence from Estate Tax Returns," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1801-1854.
    3. Davidson, Russell & MacKinnon, James G., 1993. "Estimation and Inference in Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195060119.
    4. Martin S. Feldstein & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 2002. "Introduction to "The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform"," NBER Chapters, in: The Distributional Aspects of Social Security and Social Security Reform, pages 1-10, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Facundo Alvaredo & Bertrand Garbinti & Thomas Piketty, 2017. "On the Share of Inheritance in Aggregate Wealth: Europe and the USA, 1900–2010," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 239-260, April.
    2. Jaanika Meriküll & Merike Kukk & Tairi Rõõm, 2021. "What explains the gender gap in wealth? Evidence from administrative data," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 501-547, June.
    3. GRABKA Markus & MARCUS Jan & SIERMINSKA Eva, 2013. "Wealth distribution within couples and financial decision making," LISER Working Paper Series 2013-02, LISER.
    4. Sierminska, Eva & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Grabka, Markus M., 2018. "Transitioning towards more equality? Wealth gender differences and the changing role of explanatory factors over time," GLO Discussion Paper Series 252, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2007. "Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data since 1937," NBER Working Papers 13345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Anthony B. Atkinson & Alessandra Casarico & Sarah Voitchovsky, 2018. "Top incomes and the gender divide," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(2), pages 225-256, June.
    7. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2012. "Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 474-484.
    8. Sierminska, Eva M. & Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2010. "Examining the gender wealth gap," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 669-690.
    9. Grabka, Markus M. & Marcus, Jan & Sierminska, Eva, 2015. "Wealth Distribution within Couples," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 459-486.
    10. Alyssa Schneebaum & Miriam Rehm & Katharina Mader & Katarina Hollan, 2018. "The Gender Wealth Gap Across European Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 64(2), pages 295-331, June.
    11. Sierminska, Eva & Frick, Joachim R. & Grabka, Markus M., 2008. "Examining the Gender Wealth Gap in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3573, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2008. "Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden – A combination of equal opportunity and capitalistic dynasties," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 705, Stockholm School of Economics.
    13. Thomas Piketty, 2011. "On the Long-Run Evolution of Inheritance: France 1820--2050," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1071-1131.
    14. Roman Bobilev & Anne Boschini & Jesper Roine, 2020. "Women in the Top of the Income Distribution: What Can We Learn From LIS-Data?," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 6(1), pages 63-107, March.
    15. Waitkus, Nora & Minkus, Lara, 2021. "Investigating the gender wealth gap across occupational classes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108206, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Frank A. Cowell & Philippe Kerm, 2015. "Wealth Inequality: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(4), pages 671-710, September.
    17. Michael A. Nelson & Rajeev K. Goel, 2021. "Does Gender Equality Translate into Economic Equality? Evidence from about 150 Nations," CESifo Working Paper Series 8949, CESifo.
    18. Fortin, Nicole M. & Bell, Brian & Böhm, Michael, 2017. "Top earnings inequality and the gender pay gap: Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 107-123.
    19. Frémeaux, Nicolas & Leturcq, Marion, 2018. "Prenuptial agreements and matrimonial property regimes in France, 1855–2010," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 132-142.
    20. Sommer, Mathias, 2008. "Understanding the trends in income, consumption and wealth inequality and how important are life-cycle effects?," Papers 08-12, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    21. Karagiannaki, Eleni, 2015. "Recent trends in the size and the distribution of inherited wealth in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59949, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    22. Frémeaux, Nicolas & Leturcq, Marion, 2020. "Inequalities and the individualization of wealth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 184(C).
    23. Boschini, Anne & Gunnarsson, Kristin & Roine, Jesper, 2020. "Women in top incomes – Evidence from Sweden 1971–2017," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 181(C).
    24. Korom, Philipp & Lutter, Mark & Beckert, Jens, 2015. "The enduring importance of family wealth: Evidence from the Forbes 400, 1982 to 2013," MPIfG Discussion Paper 15/8, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    25. Mathias Sommer, 2008. "Understanding the trends in income, consumption and wealth inequality and how important are life-cycle effects?," MEA discussion paper series 08160, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Emmanuel Saez & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913: Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data," NBER Working Papers 20625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Andras Simonovits, 2018. "The best indexation of public pensions: the point system," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 1815, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    3. Guan Gong & Anthony Webb, 2008. "Mortality Heterogeneity and the Distributional Consequences of Mandatory Annuitization," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1055-1079, December.
    4. Alan J. Auerbach & Kerwin K. Charles & Courtney C. Coile & William Gale & Dana Goldman & Ronald Lee & Charles M. Lucas & Peter R. Orszag & Louise M. Sheiner & Bryan Tysinger & David N. Weil & Justin W, 2017. "How the Growing Gap in Life Expectancy May Affect Retirement Benefits and Reforms," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 42(3), pages 475-499, July.
    5. Rodrigo Leandro de Moura & Jaime de Jesus Filho & Paulo S�rgio Braga Tafner & Ligia Helena da Cruz Ourives, 2013. "Social security effects on income distribution: a counterfactual analysis for Brazil," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 631-637, May.
    6. Wojciech Kopczuk, 2015. "What Do We Know about the Evolution of Top Wealth Shares in the United States?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(1), pages 47-66, Winter.
    7. Holger Lüthen, 2016. "Rates of Return and Early Retirement Disincentives: Evidence from a German Pension Reform," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(2), pages 206-233, May.
    8. Sergio Nisticò & Mirko Bevilacqua, 2018. "Some Notes On The Redistribution Inherent In The U.S. Public Pension System," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(3), pages 566-581, July.
    9. Coronado Julia Lynn & Fullerton Don & Glass Thomas, 2011. "The Progressivity of Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, November.
    10. Flavia Coda Moscarola & Margherita Borella, 2015. "The 2011 Pension Reform in Italy and its Effects on Current and Future Retirees," CeRP Working Papers 151, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    11. Inyong Shin, 2018. "Could pension system make us happier?," Cogent Economics & Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 1452342-145, January.
    12. Fabian Kindermann & Veronika Püschel, 2021. "Progressive Pensions as an Incentive for Labor Force Participation," Working Papers 2021-038, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    13. Michael P. Keane & Nada Wasi, 2016. "Labour Supply: The Roles of Human Capital and The Extensive Margin," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(592), pages 578-617, May.
    14. Andras Simonovits, 2020. "Indexing public pensions in progress to wages or prices," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2015, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
    15. Stanislav Klazar & Barbora Slintáková, 2012. "How Progressive is the Czech Pension Security?," Prague Economic Papers, Prague University of Economics and Business, vol. 2012(3), pages 309-327.
    16. Christopher D. Carroll & Edmund Crawley & Jiri Slacalek & Matthew N. White, 2021. "Modeling the Consumption Response to the CARES Act," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 17(1), pages 107-141, March.
    17. Rachel J. Huang & Larry Y. Tzeng, 2008. "Consumption Externality and Equilibrium Underinsurance," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1054, December.
    18. Takashi Oshio, 2005. "Social Security And The Intragenerational Redistribution Of Lifetime Income In Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 56(1), pages 85-106, March.
    19. John F. Cogan & Olivia S. Mitchell, 2003. "Perspectives from the President's Commission on Social Security Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 149-172, Spring.
    20. Ahmed, Javed & Barber, Brad M. & Odean, Terrance, 2018. "Made poorer by choice: Worker outcomes in social security vs. private retirement accounts," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 311-322.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Women, Wealth, and Mobility (AER 2009) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:146-78. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.