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Author:Volz, Alice Henriques 

Working Paper
Analysis of wealth using micro and macro data: a comparison of the Survey of Consumer Finances and Flow of Funds Accounts

Researchers use different types of household balance sheet data to study different aspects of lifecycle saving and wealth accumulation behavior. Macro data from the Flow of Funds Accounts (FFA) are produced at a quarterly frequency and are available in a timely manner, but they can only be used to study the behavior of the household sector as a whole. Micro data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) are available every three years and only with a lag, but they can be used to address questions that involve differences in behavior over time and across various types of households. Despite ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2013-46

Discussion Paper
Are Disappearing Employer Pensions Contributing to Rising Wealth Inequality?

Focusing our attention on families close to retirement, we consider the interplay between employer-sponsored retirement wealth and Social Security.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2019-02-01

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
The Effect of Shocks to College Revenues on For-Profit Enrollment: Spillover from the Public Sector

This paper investigates whether declines in public funding for post-secondary institutions have increased for-profit enrollment. The two primary channels through which funding might operate to reallocate students across sectors are price (measured by tuition) and quality (measured by resource constraints). We estimate, on average, that a 10 percent cut in appropriations raises tuition about 1 to 2 percent and decreases faculty resources by 1/2 to 1 percent, creating substantial bottlenecks for prospective students on both price and quality. These cuts, in turn, generate a nearly one ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-25

Discussion Paper
Wealth Inequality and COVID-19: Evidence from the Distributional Financial Accounts

A wide range of economic activity has been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others have been remarkably resilient throughout the restrictions placed on our physical interactions. The unique pattern of income losses, spending reductions and substitutions, and government relief raise many questions about how different groups fared economically over the last year.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2021-08-30-2

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

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

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-017

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-9

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