Household wealth trends in the United States, 1962 to 2013: What happened over the great recession?

Edward Wolff

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    I look at wealth trends from 1962 to 2013, particularly for the middle class. Asset prices plunged between 2007 and 2010 but then rebounded from 2010 to 2013. The most telling finding is that median wealth plummeted by 44 percent between 2007 and 2010, almost double the drop in housing prices. Wealth inequality, after almost two decades of little movement, was up sharply from 2007 to 2010. This sharp fall in median net worth and rise in overall wealth inequality are traceable primarily to the high leverage of middle-class families, the high share of homes in their portfolio, and the plunge in house prices. Rather remarkably, median (and mean) wealth did not essentially change from 2010 to 2013 despite the rebound in asset prices. The proximate cause was the high dissavings of the middle class. Wealth inequality also remained largely unchanged.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)24-43
    Number of pages20
    JournalRSF
    Volume2
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

    Fingerprint

    recession
    trend
    middle class
    assets
    middle-class family
    housing
    cause

    Keywords

    • Household wealth
    • Inequality
    • Portfolio composition

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    Household wealth trends in the United States, 1962 to 2013 : What happened over the great recession? / Wolff, Edward.

    In: RSF, Vol. 2, No. 6, 01.10.2016, p. 24-43.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    @article{277425eeb0bc470bb6c98abf84ed0a18,
    title = "Household wealth trends in the United States, 1962 to 2013: What happened over the great recession?",
    abstract = "I look at wealth trends from 1962 to 2013, particularly for the middle class. Asset prices plunged between 2007 and 2010 but then rebounded from 2010 to 2013. The most telling finding is that median wealth plummeted by 44 percent between 2007 and 2010, almost double the drop in housing prices. Wealth inequality, after almost two decades of little movement, was up sharply from 2007 to 2010. This sharp fall in median net worth and rise in overall wealth inequality are traceable primarily to the high leverage of middle-class families, the high share of homes in their portfolio, and the plunge in house prices. Rather remarkably, median (and mean) wealth did not essentially change from 2010 to 2013 despite the rebound in asset prices. The proximate cause was the high dissavings of the middle class. Wealth inequality also remained largely unchanged.",
    keywords = "Household wealth, Inequality, Portfolio composition",
    author = "Edward Wolff",
    year = "2016",
    month = "10",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.7758/rsf.2016.2.6.02",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "2",
    pages = "24--43",
    journal = "RSF",
    issn = "2377-8253",
    publisher = "Russell Sage Foundation",
    number = "6",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Household wealth trends in the United States, 1962 to 2013

    T2 - What happened over the great recession?

    AU - Wolff, Edward

    PY - 2016/10/1

    Y1 - 2016/10/1

    N2 - I look at wealth trends from 1962 to 2013, particularly for the middle class. Asset prices plunged between 2007 and 2010 but then rebounded from 2010 to 2013. The most telling finding is that median wealth plummeted by 44 percent between 2007 and 2010, almost double the drop in housing prices. Wealth inequality, after almost two decades of little movement, was up sharply from 2007 to 2010. This sharp fall in median net worth and rise in overall wealth inequality are traceable primarily to the high leverage of middle-class families, the high share of homes in their portfolio, and the plunge in house prices. Rather remarkably, median (and mean) wealth did not essentially change from 2010 to 2013 despite the rebound in asset prices. The proximate cause was the high dissavings of the middle class. Wealth inequality also remained largely unchanged.

    AB - I look at wealth trends from 1962 to 2013, particularly for the middle class. Asset prices plunged between 2007 and 2010 but then rebounded from 2010 to 2013. The most telling finding is that median wealth plummeted by 44 percent between 2007 and 2010, almost double the drop in housing prices. Wealth inequality, after almost two decades of little movement, was up sharply from 2007 to 2010. This sharp fall in median net worth and rise in overall wealth inequality are traceable primarily to the high leverage of middle-class families, the high share of homes in their portfolio, and the plunge in house prices. Rather remarkably, median (and mean) wealth did not essentially change from 2010 to 2013 despite the rebound in asset prices. The proximate cause was the high dissavings of the middle class. Wealth inequality also remained largely unchanged.

    KW - Household wealth

    KW - Inequality

    KW - Portfolio composition

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85024109535&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85024109535&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.7758/rsf.2016.2.6.02

    DO - 10.7758/rsf.2016.2.6.02

    M3 - Review article

    VL - 2

    SP - 24

    EP - 43

    JO - RSF

    JF - RSF

    SN - 2377-8253

    IS - 6

    ER -