Income Transfers and Assets of the Poor
Contrary to the predictions of the standard life-cycle model, many low-lifetime-income households accumulate little wealth relative to their incomes compared to households with high lifetime income. I use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and a correlated random-effects generalized-method-of-moments estimator to decompose the rich-poor gaps in wealth-to-permanent-income ratio into the portions attributable to differences in characteristics such as labor market earnings, income uncertainty, observed demographics, and the utilization of transfer programs which may have stringent income and liquid-asset tests, and those attributable to differences in the estimated coefficients on the respective characteristics. The results suggest that wealth-to-permanent-income ratios are increasing in permanent labor income and income uncertainty, but that transfer income, with or without asset tests, discourages liquid-asset accumulation. The decompositions indicate that most of the rich-poor wealth gap is attributable to differences in average characteristics and not coefficients. The leading factor driving the gap between the rich and poor in the ratio of liquid wealth to permanent income is asset-tested transfer income, whereas the leading factor driving the gap in the ratio of net worth to permanent income is labor-market earnings. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 85 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/|
|Order Information:||Web: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journal-home.tcl?issn=00346535|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- H. W. Hoynes, .
"Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?,"
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers
1078-95, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1995. "Does Welfare Play Any Role in Female Headship Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 5149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Orazio Attanasio & James Banks & Costas Meghir & Guglielmo Weber, 1995.
"Humps and bumps in lifetime consumption,"
IFS Working Papers
W95/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- F. L. Jones, 1983. "On Decomposing the Wage Gap: A Critical Comment on Blinder's Method," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 126-130.
- R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1994.
"Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance,"
NBER Working Papers
4884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- M Arellano & O Bover, 1990.
"Another Look at the Instrumental Variable Estimation of Error-Components Models,"
CEP Discussion Papers
dp0007, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
- Cornwell, Christopher & Schmidt, Peter & Wyhowski, Donald, 1992. "Simultaneous equations and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 151-181.
- Carroll, Christopher D. & Samwick, Andrew A., 1997.
"The nature of precautionary wealth,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 41-71, September.
- Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
- Lusardi, Annamaria, 1997. "Precautionary saving and subjective earnings variance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 319-326, December.
- Richard T. Curtin & Thomas Juster & James N. Morgan, 1989. "Survey Estimates of Wealth: An Assessment of Quality," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 473-552 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Williamson Hoyne, Hilary, 1997. "Does welfare play any role in female headship decisions?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 89-117, August.
- Eric M. Engen & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Unemployment Insurance and Precautionary Saving," NBER Working Papers 5252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Cash Welfare as a Consumption Smoothing Mechanism for Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 5738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert Hutchens & George Jakubson & Saul Schwartz, 1989. "AFDC and the Formation of Subfamilies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 599-628.
- Neumark, David & Powers, Elizabeth, 1998.
"The effect of means-tested income support for the elderly on pre-retirement saving: evidence from the SSI program in the U.S,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 181-206, May.
- David Neumark & Elizabeth Powers, 1997. "The Effect of Means-Tested Income Support for the Elderly on Pre-Retirement Saving: Evidence from the SSI Program in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 6303, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J. P. Ziliak & D. N. Figlio & E. E. Davis & L. S. Connolly, . "Accounting for the Decline in AFDC Caseloads: Welfare Reform or Economic Growth?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1151-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Deaton, A., 1989.
"Saving And Liquidity Constraints,"
153, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
- Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
- Hausman, Jerry A. & Taylor, William E., 1981.
"Panel data and unobservable individual effects,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 155-155, May.
- John Shea, 1997.
"Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 79(2), pages 348-352, May.
- John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- O'Connell, Philip J. & Russell, Helen & FitzGerald, John, 2006. "Human Resources," Book Chapters, in: Morgenroth, Edgar (ed.), Ex-Ante Evaluation of the Investment Priorities for the National Development Plan 2007-2013 Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
- Miles S. Kimball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1988.
"Precautionary Saving and the Timing of Taxes,"
NBER Working Papers
2680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
- Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
- Christopher D. Carroll, 1992. "The Buffer-Stock Theory of Saving: Some Macroeconomic Evidence," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(2), pages 61-156.
- Danziger, Sheldon & Haveman, Robert & Plotnick, Robert, 1981. "How Income Transfer Programs Affect Work, Savings, and the Income Distribution: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 975-1028, September.
- Martin S. Eichenbaum & Lars Peter Hansen & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1986.
"A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption andLeisure Choice Under Uncertainty,"
NBER Working Papers
1981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eichenbaum, Martin S & Hansen, Lars Peter & Singleton, Kenneth J, 1988. "A Time Series Analysis of Representative Agent Models of Consumption and Leisure Choice under Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 51-78, February.
- Lawrance, Emily C, 1991. "Poverty and the Rate of Time Preference: Evidence from Panel Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 54-77, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:85:y:2003:i:1:p:63-76. 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: (Anna Pollock-Nelson)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.