WEALTH HOLDINGS AND POVERTY STATUS IN THE U.S.

Edward Wolff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Families below the poverty line are better off in terms of wealth than income. In 1962, the ratio of mean income between families below and above the poverty line is 0.19 and the ratio of mean wealth is 0.29. The corresponding ratios for 1983 are 0.16 and 0.19. On average, the elderly poor are better off in terms of wealth than the younger poor, particularly relative to their own income. However, the poor have become worse off in terms of wealth between 1962 and 1983, when their real income grew by 6 percent and their real wealth declined by 11 percent. The inclusion of pension and social security wealth in the household portfolio narrows the wealth gap between the poor and non‐poor, particularly for families under 65 years of age. Alternative poverty rates are also calculated based on the inclusion of annuity flows from wealth in household income. The reduction in the poverty rate between 1962 and 1983, from 21 to 15 percent on the basis of the official rate, is considerably lower with these alternative definitions.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)143-165
    Number of pages23
    JournalReview of Income and Wealth
    Volume36
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1990

    Fingerprint

    Wealth
    Poverty
    Inclusion
    Poverty line
    Income
    Social security
    Real income
    Household income
    Annuities
    Pensions
    Family income
    Household portfolios

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

    Cite this

    WEALTH HOLDINGS AND POVERTY STATUS IN THE U.S. / Wolff, Edward.

    In: Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 36, No. 2, 1990, p. 143-165.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Wolff, Edward. / WEALTH HOLDINGS AND POVERTY STATUS IN THE U.S. In: Review of Income and Wealth. 1990 ; Vol. 36, No. 2. pp. 143-165.
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