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Wealth inequality and household structure: US vs. Spain

  • Olympia Bover

    ()

    (Banco de España)

We study the link between culturally inherited household structure and wealth distribution in international comparisons using household data for the US and Spain (the SCF and the EFF). We estimate counterfactual US distributions relying on the Spanish household structure. Our results show that differences in household structure account for most of the differences in the lower part of the distribution between the two countries, but mask even larger differences in the upper part of the distribution. Imposing the Spanish household structure to the US wealth distribution has little effect on summary measures of inequality. However, this is the net result of reduced differences at the bottom and increased differences at the top. So there is distinct additional information in considering the whole distribution. We also report some evidence of an association between these wealth distribution differences and wealth composition. Finally, we present results for the within-group differences between the two countries using quantile regressions and find a reversing pattern by age.

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File URL: http://www.bde.es/f/webbde/SES/Secciones/Publicaciones/PublicacionesSeriadas/DocumentosTrabajo/08/Fic/dt0804e.pdf
File Function: First version, February 2008
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Paper provided by Banco de Espa�a in its series Banco de Espa�a Working Papers with number 0804.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bde:wpaper:0804
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.bde.es/
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  1. Cagetti, Marco & De Nardi, Mariacristina, 2008. "Wealth Inequality: Data And Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(S2), pages 285-313, September.
  2. DAVIES, JAMES B & Shorrocks, Anthony & Sandstrom, Susanna & WOLFF, EDWARD N, 2007. "The World Distribution of Household Wealth," Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series qt3jv048hx, Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz.
  3. Nidardo, J. & Fortin, N. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Papers 93-94-15, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  4. Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1997. "Understanding the U.S. distribution of wealth," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Spr, pages 22-36.
  5. Mariacristina De Nardi, 2004. "Wealth Inequality and Intergenerational Links," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 743-768.
  6. Dean R. Hyslop & David C. Maré, 2005. "Understanding New Zealand's Changing Income Distribution, 1983-1998: A Semi-parametric Analysis," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(3), pages 469-495, 08.
  7. Rebecca London, 1998. "Trends in single mothers’ living arrangements from 1970 to 1995: Correcting the Current Population Survey," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 125-131, February.
  8. Frank A. Cowell & Emmanuel Flachaire, 2007. "Income distribution and inequality measurement: The problem of extreme values," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00176029, HAL.
  9. James Banks & Richard Blundell & James P. Smith, 2003. "Understanding Differences in Household Financial Wealth between the United States and Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(2).
  10. Eva Sierminska & Andrea Brandolini & Timothy M Smeeding, 2007. "Comparing wealth distribution across rich countries: the Luxembourg Wealth Study project," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Proceedings of the IFC Conference on "Measuring the financial position of the household sector", Basel, 30-31 August 2006 - Volume 1, volume 25, pages 297-310 Bank for International Settlements.
  11. Davies, James B. & Shorrocks, Anthony F., 2000. "The distribution of wealth," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 11, pages 605-675 Elsevier.
  12. James Banks & Richard Blundell & James P. Smith, 2001. "Financial Wealth Inequality in the United States and Great Britain," Working Papers 01-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  13. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  14. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Jenkins, Stephen P, 1990. " The Distribution of Wealth: Measurement and Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 329-60.
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