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Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances



The Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Consumer Finances for 2013 provides insights into the evolution of family income and net worth since the previous time the survey was conducted, in 2010. The survey shows that, over the 2010-13 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family income before taxes fell 5 percent, while mean income increased 4 percent. The differential movements in median and mean incomes are consistent with increased income inequality over the 2010-13 period, though some of that differential growth simply reversed the cyclical decrease in income inequality that occurred between 2007 and 2010. Both median and mean real family net worth were little changed over the 2010-13 period, and the data suggest that the distribution of net worth also became more unequal over this period. Offsetting changes in asset ownership rates and asset prices left the middle of the net worth distribution relatively unchanged, while the top and bottom of the net worth distribution moved in different directions. This article reviews these and other changes in the financial condition of U.S. families, including developments in assets, liabilities, debt payments, and credit market experiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesse Bricker & Lisa J. Dettling & Alice Henriques Volz & Joanne W. Hsu & Kevin B. Moore & John Edward Sabelhaus & Jeffrey P. Thompson & Richard Windle, 2014. "Changes in U.S. Family Finances from 2010 to 2013: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), vol. 100(4), September.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:89528
    DOI: 10.17016/bulletin.2014.100-4

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelle Maroto, 2018. "Saving, Sharing, or Spending? The Wealth Consequences of Raising Children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(6), pages 2257-2282, December.
    2. Xavier Ragot, 2018. "Limited Participation, Capital Accumulation and Optimal Monetary Policy," Sciences Po publications 2018-12, Sciences Po.
    3. De Magalhães, Leandro & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2018. "The consumption, income, and wealth of the poorest: An empirical analysis of economic inequality in rural and urban Sub-Saharan Africa for macroeconomists," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 350-371.
    4. Florin Bilbiie & Xavier Ragot, 2021. "Optimal Monetary Policy and Liquidity with Heterogeneous Households," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 41, pages 71-95, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Jesse Bricker & Jeffrey P. Thompson, 2014. "Does education loan debt influence household financial distress? An assessment using the 2007-09 SCF Panel," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-90, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Jonathan D. Fisher, 2019. "Who Files for Personal Bankruptcy in the United States?," Journal of Consumer Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 2003-2026, December.
    8. Sebastian Devlin-Foltz & Alice Henriques Volz & John Edward Sabelhaus, 2015. "The Evolution of Retirement Wealth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-9, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. 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.
    10. Oleksandr Somchenkov, 2016. "Individual Investors in the Formation of the Resource Potential of the Stock Market of Ukraine," Oblik i finansi, Institute of Accounting and Finance, issue 1, pages 137-145, March.
    11. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/j75mfllkr89c8aod1nr586ksc is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Jesse Bricker & Peter Hansen & Alice Henriques Volz, 2018. "How Much has Wealth Concentration Grown in the United States? A Re-Examination of Data from 2001-2013," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-024, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Mathieu Boullot, 2017. "Secular Stagnation, Liquidity Trap and Rational Asset Price Bubbles," Working Papers halshs-01295012, HAL.
    14. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/j7nncuouv9a0af4mubojrr2vc is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Kopczuk, Wojciech, 2016. "U.S. capital gains and estate taxation: a status report and directions for a reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 11208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. James J. Choi & Adriana Z. Robertson, 2020. "What Matters to Individual Investors? Evidence from the Horse's Mouth," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 75(4), pages 1965-2020, August.
    17. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/j7nncuouv9a0af4mubojrr2vc is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl & Peter Grajzl & A. Joseph Guse & Richard M. Todd & Michael Williams, 2018. "Neighborhood Racial Characteristics, Credit History, and Bankcard Credit in Indian Country," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 60(3), pages 410-441, September.
    19. Jesse Bricker & Alice Henriques & Jacob Krimmel & John Sabelhaus, 2016. "Measuring Income and Wealth at the Top Using Administrative and Survey Data," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(1 (Spring), pages 261-331.
    20. Ali Fatemi & Iraj Fooladi, 2020. "A primer on sustainable value creation," Review of Financial Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 38(3), pages 452-473, July.
    21. Samuel Dodini & Jeff Larrimore & Jenny Schuetz, 2016. "What are the Perceived Barriers to Homeownership for Young Adults?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-021, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    22. Jesse Bricker & Alice Henriques Volz & Kevin B. Moore, 2017. "Updates to the Sampling of Wealthy Families in the Survey of Consumer Finances," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-114, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    23. Seth G. Benzell & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Guillermo LaGarda & Victor Yifan Ye, 2017. "Simulating Business Cash Flow Taxation," NBER Working Papers 23675, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Zhang Sisi & Feng Shuaizhang, 2017. "Understanding the Unequal Post-Great Recession Wealth Recovery for American Families," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(4), pages 1-18, October.
    25. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/j75mfllkr89c8aod1nr586ksc is not listed on IDEAS

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