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Introducing the Distributional Financial Accounts of the United States
This paper describes the construction of the Distributional Financial Accounts (DFAs), a new dataset containing quarterly estimates of the distribution of U.S. household wealth since 1989, and provides the first look at the resulting data. The DFAs build on two existing Federal Reserve Board statistical products --- quarterly aggregate measures of household wealth from the Financial Accounts of the United States and triennial wealth distribution measures from the Survey of Consumer Finances --- to incorporate distributional information into a national accounting framework. The DFAs complement other existing sources of data on the wealth distribution by using a more comprehensive measure of household wealth and by providing quarterly data on a timely basis. We encourage policymakers, researchers, and other interested parties to use the DFAs to help understand issues related to the distribution of U.S. household wealth.
AUTHORS: Batty, Michael M.; Bricker, Jesse; Briggs, Joseph S.; Holmquist, Elizabeth Ball; McIntosh, Susan Hume; Moore, Kevin B.; Nielsen, Eric; Reber, Sarah; Shatto, Molly; Sommer, Kamila; Sweeney, Tom; Henriques, Alice M.
The integrated macroeconomic accounts of the United States
The integrated macroeconomic accounts (IMAs), produced jointly by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), present a sequence of accounts that relate income, saving, investment in real and financial assets, and asset revaluations to changes in net worth. In this paper we first provide some background information on the IMAs and on their construction. Next, we discuss the usefulness of the IMAs, focusing for instance on the evolution of household net worth and its components, a set of series that has appeared frequently in discussions of the causes and effects of the recent financial crisis. We also discuss some of the challenges associated with integrating nonfinancial and financial data sources, that is, the current and capital accounts statistics from BEA's national income and product accounts (NIPAs) and the financial account statistics from FRB's flow of funds accounts (FFAs). In the final section, we discuss future plans for improving the IMAs, including a proposed framework and methodology for breaking out the financial business sector into three subsectors: 1) Central bank, 2) Insurance and pension funds, and 3) Other financial business.
AUTHORS: Cagetti, Marco; Holmquist, Elizabeth Ball; Lynn, Lisa; McIntosh, Susan Hume; Wasshausen, David