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International Perspectives on Household Wealth

Edited by Edward N. Wolff, Professor of Economics, New York University, US
The contributors to this comprehensive book compile and analyse the latest data available on household wealth using, as case studies, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Finland during the 1990s and into the twenty-first century. The authors show that in the US, trends are highlighted in terms of wealth holdings, among the low-income population, along with changes in wealth polarization, racial differences in wealth holdings, and the dynamics of portfolio choices. The consensus between the authors is that wealth inequality has generally risen among these OECD countries since the early 1980s, although Germany stands out as an exception. In the case of the US, it is also noted that wealth holdings have generally failed to improve among low-income families and that the racial wealth gap widened during the late 1980s.
In Association with the Levy Economics Institute
Extent: 464 pp
Hardback Price: $188.00 Web: $169.20
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 978 1 84542 116 8
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  • Economics and Finance
  • International Economics
  • Post-Keynesian Economics
  • Welfare Economics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Policy
The contributors to this comprehensive book compile and analyse the latest data available on household wealth using, as case studies, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Finland during the 1990s and into the twenty-first century. The authors show that in the US, trends are highlighted in terms of wealth holdings, among the low-income population, along with changes in wealth polarization, racial differences in wealth holdings, and the dynamics of portfolio choices. The consensus between the authors is that wealth inequality has generally risen among these OECD countries since the early 1980s, although Germany stands out as an exception. In the case of the US, it is also noted that wealth holdings have generally failed to improve among low-income families and that the racial wealth gap widened during the late 1980s.

International Perspectives on Household Wealth also contains new results on a number of topics, including measures and changes of wealth polarization in the US, measurement and changes of portfolio span in the US, asset holdings of low-income households in the US, and the effects of parental resources on asset holdings in Chile.

Academic, government, and public policy economists in OECD countries, as well as those in so-called middle-income countries around the world, will find much to engage them within this book. It will also appeal to academics and researchers of international and welfare economics and other social scientists interested in the issue of inequality.
‘Editor Wolff is a leading authority on income, wealth, and inequality in the US, and contributing authors are well-respected experts in their field. Overall, the research is high quality, and most papers include a substantial list of references. A plethora of data is considered, and much statistical evidence is presented. . . . A useful contribution to the literature on income distribution and wealth inequality. Recommended.’
– E. Kacapyr, Choice
Contributors: A. Brandolini, L. Cannari, S. Cody, J.L. Czajka, G. D’Alessio, C. D’Ambrosio, M. Drolet, I. Faiella, E. Gouskova, R. Hauser, M. Jäntti, F.T. Juster, D. Kasprzyk, A.B. Kennickell, N.A. Klevmarken, R. Morissette, D.B. Papadimitriou, S. Spilerman, F.P. Stafford, H. Stein, F. Torche, E.N. Wolff, X. Zhang
Contents:

Foreword
Dimitri B. Papadimitriou

1. International Comparisons of Wealth: Methodological Issues and a Summary of Findings
Edward N. Wolff

PART I: WEALTH CHANGES IN NORTH AMERICA
2. A Rolling Tide: Changes in the Distribution of Wealth in the US, 1989–2001
Arthur B. Kennickell

3. Who Shared in the Growth of Wealth in the 1990s? Subpopulation Trends in US Household Wealth Holdings
John L. Czajka, Scott Cody and Daniel Kasprzyk

4. Changes in Household Wealth in the 1980s and 1990s in the United States
Edward N. Wolff

5. The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984–1999
René Morissette, Xuelin Zhang and Marie Drolet

PART II: WEALTH INEQUALITY IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
6. Inequality of the Distribution of Personal Wealth in Germany, 1973–98
Richard Hauser and Holger Stein

7. Household Wealth Distribution in Italy in the 1990s
Andrea Brandolini, Luigi Cannari, Giovanni D’Alessio and Ivan Faiella

8. On Household Wealth Trends in Sweden Over the 1990s
N. Anders Klevmarken

9. Trends in the Distribution of Income and Wealth: Finland, 1987–98
Markus Jäntti

PART III: OTHER TYPES OF WEALTH INEQUALITY
10. Parental Wealth Effects on Living Standards and Asset Holdings: Results from Chile
Florencia Torche and Seymour Spilerman

11. Trends and Turbulence: Allocations and Dynamics of American Family Portfolios, 1984–2001
Elena Gouskova, F. Thomas Juster and Frank P. Stafford

12. Is Wealth Becoming More Polarized in the United States?
Conchita D’Ambrosio and Edward N. Wolff

Index