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Farm Value and Retirement of Farm Owners in Early-Twentieth-Century America

  • Chulhee Lee


This paper estimates the proportion of savings that represents accumulation for retirement in the United States over the last century. For this purpose, I compute a counterfactual life cycle savings-income ratio for 1900-1990 that would have resulted if the savings for retirement were the only motive for wealth accumulation. the proportion of private savings that represents life-cycle wealth accumulation increased over time, particularly after 1940. I argue that about half of the wealth stock in the U.S. resulted from life cycle savings.

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Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Seoul National University in its series Working Paper Series with number no15.

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Date of creation: May 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snu:ioerwp:no15
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  1. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:2:p:297-319 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Dora L. Costa, 1994. "Agricultural Decline and the Secular Rise in Male Retirement Rates," NBER Historical Working Papers 0055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert William Fogel, 1993. "New Sources and New Techniques for the Study of Secular Trends in Nutritional Status, Health, Mortality, and the Process of Aging," NBER Historical Working Papers 0026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Haines, 1977. "Mortality in nineteenth century america: Estimates from New York and Pennsylvania census data, 1865 and 1900," Demography, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 311-331, August.
  5. Carter, Susan B. & Sutch, Richard, 1996. "Myth of the Industrial Scrap Heap: A Revisionist View of Turn-of-the-Century American Retirement," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 5-38, March.
  6. Donghyu Yang, 1992. "Farm Tenancy in the Antebellum North," NBER Chapters, in: Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel, pages 135-156 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lee, Chulhee, 1998. "Long-Term Unemployment and Retirement in Early-Twentieth-Century America," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(03), pages 844-856, September.
  8. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
  9. Margo Robert A., 1993. "The Labor Force Participation of Older Americans in 1900: Further Results," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 409-423, October.
  10. Ransom, Roger L. & Sutch, Richard, 1989. "The Trend in the Rate of Labor Force Participation of Older Men, 1870–1930: A Reply to Moen," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(01), pages 170-183, March.
  11. Ransom, Roger L. & Sutch, Richard, 1986. "The Labor of Older Americans: Retirement of Men On and Off the Job, 1870–1937," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 1-30, March.
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