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The Role of Social Security in Overall Retirement Resources : A Distributional Perspective
In this note, we first present trends in participation in employment-related retirement plans, and then provide analysis for one birth cohort, nearing retirement age, of the impact of Social Security on retirement wealth.
Comparing Micro and Macro Sources for Household Accounts in the United States: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances
Household income, spending, and net worth are key inputs in macroeconomic forecasting and economic research. Macro-level data sources are often used to measure household accounts, but lack important information about heterogeneity across different types of households that can be found in micro-level data sources. This paper compares aggregates computed based on one micro-level data source--the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF)--with macro-level sources of information on household accounts. We find that on most measures, aggregates computed from the SCF line up well with macro-level data ...
Heterogeneity in Economic Shocks and Household Spending
Large swings in aggregate household-sector spending, especially for big ticket items such as cars and housing, have been a dominant feature of the macroeconomic landscape in the past two decades. Income and wealth inequality increased over the same period, leading some to suggest the two phenomena are interconnected. Indeed, there is supporting evidence for the idea that heterogeneity in economic shocks and spending are connected, most notably in studies using local-area geography as the unit of analysis. The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) provides a household-level perspective on changes ...
The Evolution of Retirement Wealth
Is the current mix of tax preferences for employer-sponsored pensions and individual retirement saving in the U.S. delivering the best possible retirement-preparedness across and within generations? Using data from the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances for 1989 through 2013, cohort-based analysis of life-cycle trajectories shows that (1) overall retirement plan participation was relatively stable or even rising through 2007, though participation fell noticeably in the wake of the Great Recession and has remained lower, (2) participation is strongly correlated with income, and the shift in ...
Should You Trust Things You Hear Online? Comparing SHED and Census Bureau Survey Results
In the fall of 2013, the Federal Reserve Board began conducting the Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), which is an annual survey of individual consumers designed to monitor their well-being and identify risks to their financial stability.
Has Tax-Preferred Retirement Saving Offset Rising Wealth Concentration?
The share of wealth owned by top wealth-holders in the U.S. has been rising over the past few decades, though there is some debate about exactly how concentrated wealth is, and how fast those top wealth shares are rising.