Are Successive Generations Getting Wealthier, and If so, Why?
65 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2006
This paper examines the wealth of successive birth cohorts using data from the 1989-2001 Surveys of Consumer Finances, with two central results. First, older households (aged 55-64, 65-74 or 75-84) in 2001 had more wealth than similarly aged households in 1989, but younger households did not. Second, changes in standard demographic characteristics (marital status, education, years in labor force, health status) can explain most of the divergent trends across age groups. Given the historically large capital gains that accrued during the 1900s, these results raise some intriguing questions issues about the nature of saving and wealth accumulation during that decade.
JEL Classification: D31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation