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Wealth Distribution and Retirement Preparation among Early Savers
This paper develops a new combined-wealth measure by augmenting data on net worth from the Survey of Consumer Finances with estimates of defined benefit (DB) pension and expected Social Security wealth. We use this concept to explore retirement preparation among two groups of households in pre-retirement years (aged 40 through 49 and 50 through 59), and to explore the concentration of wealth. We find evidence of moderate, but rising, shortfalls in retirement preparation. We also show that including DB pension and Social Security wealth results in markedly lower measures of wealth ...
Income and Wealth Inequality
Income and wealth are becoming more unequal over time. The September 2022 issue of Page One Economics discusses how income and wealth inequality are measured, what drives differences among individuals and households, and how growing inequality may affect the overall economy.
Monetary Policy and Inequality
This Commentary examines the link between monetary policy and income and wealth inequality by reviewing the theoretical channels that have been proposed and examining the empirical evidence on their importance. The analysis suggests that the magnitude of any redistributive consequences of conventional monetary policy seems to be small. Evidence that unconventional monetary policies have led to increases in inequality is still inconclusive.
Five Ideas to Support Families amid Growing Wealth Inequality
Setting up emergency savings and creating new ways to build wealth are some ideas that could increase the economic resiliency of U.S. families.
The outlook for the U.S. economy in 2018 and beyond: remarks at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, New York City
Remarks at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, New York City.
Seven Economic Facts About the U.S. Racial Wealth Gap
Using data from the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances and the U.S. Census Bureau, along with data and research from other sources, this paper presents seven economic facts about the racial wealth gap in the U.S. We present data on racial disparities in income, employment, homeownership, education, access to credit, and retirement savings – all factors that contribute to a significant and persistent gap in net worth between households of different races and ethnicities, particularly between Black households and White households. While none of the economic factors listed fully explains the ...
Uninsured risk, stagnation, and fiscal policy
Japan is in the midst of a protracted spell of depressed economic activity. Japan's economic stagnation has occurred against a background of rising earnings risk. Occupational stability is falling as routine occupations disappear and implicit lifetime employment guarantees are gradually disappearing. At the same time, earnings in some high-skilled occupations have continued to grow. The resulting polarization in earnings has also been accompanied by an increase in wealth inequality. We develop a framework that relates these observations. In our model, an increase in uninsured earnings risk ...
How Does Human Capital Affect Wealth Inequality?
Accounting for human capital can change the distribution of wealth and some common measures of wealth inequality.
Why Are the Wealthiest So Wealthy? A Longitudinal Empirical Investigation
We use Norwegian administrative panel data on wealth and income between 1993 and 2015 to study lifecycle wealth dynamics, focusing on the wealthiest households. On average, the wealthiest start their lives substantially richer than other households in the same cohort, own mostly private equity, earn higher returns, derive most of their income from dividends and capital gains, and save at higher rates. At age 50, the excess wealth of the top 0.1% group relative to mid-wealth households is accounted for in about equal terms by higher saving rates (34%), higher initial wealth (32%), and higher ...
Wealth Inequality and Return Heterogeneity During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Wealth inequality in the U.S., measured by the top 1% wealth share, experienced dramatic changes in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic theory suggests that the key to understanding wealth inequality is heterogeneity in the return to net worth across households. To understand the dynamics of wealth inequality during the COVID-19 pandemic, we develop a novel methodology that allows us to estimate the returns to net worth for different groups of households at relatively high frequency. We show that portfolio heterogeneity and asset price movements are the main determinants of ...