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Keywords:Wealth 

Report
Endogenous productivity and development accounting

Cross-country data reveal that the per capita incomes of the richest countries exceed those of the poorest countries by a factor of thirty-five. We formalize a model with embodied technical change in which newer, more productive vintages of capital coexist with older, less productive vintages. A reduction in the cost of investment raises both the quantity and productivity of capital simultaneously. The model induces a simple relationship between the relative price of investment goods and per capita income. Using cross-country data on the prices of investment goods, we find that the model does ...
Staff Reports , Paper 258

Working Paper
Wealth inequality: data and models

In the United States wealth is highly concentrated and very unequally distributed: the richest 1% hold one third of the total wealth in the economy. Understanding the determinants of wealth inequality is a challenge for many economic models. We summarize some key facts about the wealth distribution and what economic models have been able to explain so far.
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-05-10

Journal Article
Social security, saving, and wealth accumulation

National Economic Trends , Issue May

Working Paper
Taxation, entrepreneurship, and wealth

Entrepreneurship is a key determinant of investment, saving, and wealth inequality. We study the aggregate and distributional effects of several tax reforms in a model that recognizes this key role and that matches the large wealth inequality observed in the U.S. data. The aggregate effects of tax reforms can be particularly large when they affect small and medium-sized businesses, which face the most severe financial constraints, rather than big businesses. The consequences of changes in the estate tax depend heavily on the size of its exemption level. The current effective estate tax system ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-07

Journal Article
Beyond \\"rich\\" and \\"poor\\"

A meticulous analysis reveals the full depth and breadth of U.S. economic inequality
The Region , Volume 17 , Issue Jun , Pages 12-16

Working Paper
Wealth inequality, intergenerational links and estate taxation

Empirical studies have shown that, for many countries, the distribution of wealth is much more concentrated than the one of labor earnings. We do not have yet a satisfactory model that can generate enough concentration in wealth from the one for earnings. I construct a computable general equilibrium model with overlapping generations in which parents and children are linked by bequests and earnings within families. I show that bequests are important to explain the emergence of large estates that characterize the top of the wealth distribution and that the introduction of a bequest motive ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-99-13

Working Paper
A primer on the economics and time series econometrics of wealth effects

This paper reviews the statistical approach typically applied by macroeconomists to investigate the empirical links among aggregate data on household consumption, income, and wealth. In particular, we focus on studies determining whether and how much changes in net worth, such as those generated by the stock-market boom in the U.S. over the latter 1990s, are responsible for subsequent swings in the growth rate of consumer spending. We show how simple economic theory is used to motivate an econometric strategy that consists of two stages of analysis. First, regressions are used to identify ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2001-09

Working Paper
Does stock market wealth matter for consumption?

This paper explores the household behavior that underlies the link between wealth and consumption at the aggregate level. One possibility is that changes in wealth directly cause changes in consumption through their effect on households' contemporaneous budget sets; another possibility is that they merely predict changes in consumption because they signal changes in future income. Based on analysis of household-level data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, we find that direct wealth effects begin to show up relatively quickly and continue to boost consumption growth for a number of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2001-23

Journal Article
Does Social Security worsen inequality?

Gaps between the rich and poor grow once people hit retirement. Some say privatizing Social Security will increase wealth inequality among retirees. This Commentary argues it won't and suggests that the current system may be reducing wealth mobility from one generation to the next. This Commentary is based on a presentation given at the CATO Institute's conference on Social Security Privatization, February 5-7, 2001.
Economic Commentary , Issue Aug

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-86

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