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A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States

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  • Kessler, Denis
  • Wolff, Edward N

Abstract

We find that household wealth is distributed more unequally in the U.S. in 1983 than France in 1986. The Gini coefficient is 0.7 for the U.S. and 0.71 for France. There are also significant differences in the composition of wealth. Owner-occupied housing accounted for half of total assets in France, and only 30 percent in the U.S., while corporate stock and financial securities accounted to 19 percent in the U.S. and 8 percent in France. The debt-equity ratio was 0.13 in France and 0.20 in the U.S. The age-wealth profile in the two countries had the characteristic hump-shape predicted by the life-cycle model, but the profile was much flatter in France and peaked for families aged 50-59 in France, compared to 60-69 in the U.S. Copyright 1991 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Kessler, Denis & Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "A Comparative Analysis of Household Wealth Patterns in France and the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(3), pages 249-266, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:37:y:1991:i:3:p:249-66
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    Cited by:

    1. Skopek, Nora & Buchholz, Sandra & Blossfeld, Hans-Peter, 2011. "Wealth inequality in Europe and the delusive egalitarianism of Scandinavian countries," MPRA Paper 35307, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Sasaki, Shunichiro & Xie, Shiyu & Ohtake, Fumio & Qin, Jie & Tsutsui, Yoshiro, 2008. "Experiments on risk attitude: The case of Chinese students," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 245-259, June.
    3. Gomes, Joao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Rebelo, Sergio, 2001. "Equilibrium unemployment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 109-152, August.
    4. Manuela Deidda, 2015. "Economic Hardship, Housing Cost Burden and Tenure Status: Evidence from EU-SILC," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(4), pages 531-556, December.
    5. Gollier, Christian, 2002. "Discounting an uncertain future," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 149-166, August.
    6. Chaigneau, Pierre, 2013. "Explaining the structure of CEO incentive pay with decreasing relative risk aversion," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 4-23.
    7. Ogaki, Masao & Zhang, Qiang, 2001. "Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion and Tests of Risk Sharing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(2), pages 515-526, March.
    8. Martin Feldstein & Andrew Samwick, 1997. "The Economics of Prefunding Social Security and Medicare Benefits," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 115-164 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Kaminoyama, Ken-ichi & Kawagishi, Taketo, 2012. "Cash-in-advance constraint with status in a neoclassical growth model," MPRA Paper 38382, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1993. "Explaining financial market facts: the importance of incomplete markets and transaction costs," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 17-31.
    11. Masao Ogaki & Qiang Zhang, 2000. "Risk Sharing in Village India: the Rule of Decreasing Relative Risk Aversion," Working Papers 00-02, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
    12. Buckley, Robert M & Gurenko, Eugene N, 1997. "Housing and Income Distribution in Russia: Zhivago's Legacy," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(1), pages 19-32, February.
    13. Gollier, Christian & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 2002. "Horizon Length and Portfolio Risk," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 195-212, May.
    14. White, Lucy, 2008. "Prudence in bargaining: The effect of uncertainty on bargaining outcomes," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 211-231, January.
    15. Timothy Smeeding & Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini, 2006. "Comparing Wealth Distribution across Rich Countries: First Results from the Luxembourg Wealth Study," LWS Working papers 1, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    16. Hochgürtel, S. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "The Relation Between Financial and Housing Wealth of Dutch Households," Discussion Paper 1996-82, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    17. Heer, Burkhard & Maußner, Alfred, 2012. "The Burden Of Unanticipated Inflation: Analysis Of An Overlapping-Generations Model With Progressive Income Taxation And Staggered Prices," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(02), pages 278-308, April.
    18. Hochguertel, Stefan & van Soest, Arthur, 2001. "The Relation between Financial and Housing Wealth: Evidence from Dutch Households," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 374-403, March.
    19. Christian Gollier & Edward Schlee, 2011. "Information And The Equity Premium," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(5), pages 871-902, October.
    20. Audrey Desbonnet & Jean-Olivier Hairault, 2010. "Inégalité de patrimoine et progressivité de l'impôt," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(2), pages 21-41.
    21. Kawagishi, Taketo & Kaminoyama, Ken-ichi, 2014. "Cash-in-advance constraint with status and endogenous growth," MPRA Paper 55946, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Macroeconomics with frictions," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sum, pages 24-40.
    23. Erosa, Andres & Ventura, Gustavo, 2002. "On inflation as a regressive consumption tax," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 761-795, May.
    24. Peter Krause & Bruce Headey, 1995. "Rich and Poor: Stability or Change?: West German Income Mobility 1984-93," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 126, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    25. White, Lucy, 2006. "Prudence in Bargaining: The Effect of Uncertainty on Bargaining Outcomes," CEPR Discussion Papers 5822, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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