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Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wealth in the Health and Retirement Study

  • James P. Smith

    (RAND Corporation)

This paper examines wealth data in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). In comparison with asset data in other major surveys, the quality of HRS asset data is high. Missing asset data does remain a problem, however, to which future HRS analysts must remain sensitive. Evidence is presented showing that it is no accident that asset data are missing, and solutions for imputing missing data are developed. Finally, racial and ethnic wealth disparities are large. These minority wealth disparities are due in part to differential inheritances and desired bequests as inequities perpetuate themselves across generations: the disparities are also due to lower minority incomes, poorer health, and an excessively narrow definition of wealth that excludes Social Security and employer pensions.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/lab/papers/0408/0408011.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 0408011.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 16 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0408011
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 26. The Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 30, Supplement, pp. S158-S183, 1995
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Blau, Francine D & Graham, John W, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 321-39, May.
  2. Terrell, Henry S, 1971. "Wealth Accumulation of Black and White Families: The Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 363-77, May.
  3. Wolff, Edward N, 1992. "Changing Inequality of Wealth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 552-58, May.
  4. James P. Smith, 2004. "Assets and Labor Supply," Labor and Demography 0404003, EconWPA.
  5. 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.
  6. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-64, June.
  7. Sobol, Marion Gross, 1979. "Factors Influencing Private Capital Accumulation on the "Eve of Retirement"," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(4), pages 585-93, November.
  8. 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.
  9. Andrew B. Abel, 1984. "Bequests and Social Security With Uncertain Lifetimes," NBER Working Papers 1372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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