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Author:Bricker, Jesse 

Working Paper
Trends in Household Portfolio Composition

We use data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to explore how household asset portfolios in the United States have evolved from 1989 to 2016. Throughout this period, two key assets?housing and financial market assets?have driven the aggregate household balance sheet evolution. However, aggregates mask great heterogeneity in balance sheet composition across the wealth distribution, and most families hold a relatively small share of assets in financial markets and larger shares in housing and other nonfinancial assets. We also describe the typical life cycle asset accumulation processes ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-069

Journal Article
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 ...
Federal Reserve Bulletin , Volume 100 , Issue 4

Working Paper
Signaling Status: The Impact of Relative Income on Household Consumption and Financial Decisions

This paper investigates the importance of status in household consumption and financial decisions using household data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) linked to neighborhood data in the American Community Survey (ACS). We find evidence that a household's income rank--its position in the income distribution relative to its close neighbors--is positively associated with its expenditures on high status cars, its level of indebtedness, as well as the riskiness of the household's portfolio. More aggregate county-level evidence based on a dataset of every new car sold in each county in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-76

Working Paper
The role of specific subjects in education production functions: evidence from morning classes in Chicago public high schools

Absences in Chicago Public High Schools are 3-7 days per year higher in first period than at other times of the day. This study exploits this empirical regularity and the essentially random variation between students in the ordering of classes over the day to measure how the returns to classroom learning vary by course subject, and how much attendance in one class spills over into learning in other subjects. We find that having a class in first period reduces grades in that course and has little effect on long-term grades or grades in related subjects. We also find moderately-sized negative ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-33

Working Paper
A test for selection in matched administrative earnings data

We test whether individuals in the Health and Retirement Study who consented to have administrative earnings data matched to survey responses represent a non-random sample. For both men and women, there is a general pattern of negative selection across three measures of pre-entry labor-market behavior: labor-force participation, self-employment, and earnings. However, for some outcomes the estimates are not precise enough to draw firm conclusions. The strongest results are that men who consented were 4.7 percentage points less likely to be self-employed than those who did not, and women who ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2013-07

Working Paper
Survey Incentives, Survey Effort, and Survey Costs

This paper uses the 2007 and 2010 waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to investigate how monetary incentives affect the time and effort that interviewers expend during the survey field period, and how these incentives affect effort expended by the survey respondent. The results imply that a larger monetary incentive offer helps reduce contact attempts and time in the field while maintaining data quality and effort during the survey by the respondent. Our results are based on a quasi-experiment that varies which families receive an incentive offer letter. Supporting evidence is ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-74

Discussion Paper
Wealth and Income Concentration in the SCF: 1989–2019

Using 2019 SCF data, we update estimates of the U.S. wealth and income distributions. These data indicate that wealth concentration in 2019 was similar to the levels seen in 2016 and near the historical high over the 1989–2019 period. Income concentration similarly remains high but declined between 2016 and 2019.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2020-09-28-1

Working Paper
Trends in household portfolio composition

We use data from the Federal Reserve Board?s Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to explore how household asset portfolios in the United States evolved between 1989 and 2016. Throughout this period, two key assets ? housing and financial market assets ? drove the household balance sheet evolution; however, we find a great heterogeneity in the balance sheets that averages and aggregates conceal. We observe that ownership of assets has become more concentrated over time, and we show that nearly all of the time series variation in financial vulnerabilities in family balance sheets is due to ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-9

Discussion Paper
Wealth Concentration Levels and Growth: 1989-2016

Wealth concentration in the U.S. has increased over the past 25 years across multiple methodologies for measuring wealth. But the reasons for the increase—and the timing of the increase—are quite different. In this note, we show that most available estimates are fairly consistent in level and trend prior to the Financial Crisis. However, the timing and reasons for the sharp increase in wealth concentration during and after the crisis differ remarkably across methods. We describe some of the factors that underlie this divergence.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2020-02-20

Discussion Paper
Updating the Distributional Financial Accounts

In addition to incorporating 2020q2 data from the Financial Accounts, the 2020q2 release of the Distributional Financial Accounts (DFAs) includes three substantial updates. The most consequential is the incorporation of the newly released 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF).
FEDS Notes , Paper 2020-11-09-2


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