Wealth Mobility in America: A View from the National Longitudinal Survey

38 Pages Posted: 4 May 2007 Last revised: 23 Apr 2021

See all articles by Richard H. Steckel

Richard H. Steckel

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jayanthi Krishnan

Temple University - Department of Accounting

Date Written: August 1992

Abstract

We depict and analyze wealth mobility in a national sample of nearly 4,000 households interviewed by the National Longitudinal Survey over a ten year period from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s. A transition matrix, the Shorrocks measure, average decile position for various subgroups, and wealth in period two compared with wealth in period one are used to describe patterns of wealth mobility. These results and regression models of change in percentile position, of persistence in the top, of movement into the top, of persistence into the bottom, and of movement into the bottom identify winners and losers. The losers include single people, blacks, and those who experienced marital disruption, while winners were the skilled and more educated. These findings have implications for the interpretation of cross-sectional measures of inequality, the explanation of long-term trends in wealth mobility, and the consequences of recent trends in the wage structure.

Suggested Citation

Steckel, Richard H. and Krishnan, Jayanthi, Wealth Mobility in America: A View from the National Longitudinal Survey (August 1992). NBER Working Paper No. w4137, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=981139

Richard H. Steckel (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Economics ( email )

1945 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43210-1172
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614-292-5008 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jayanthi Krishnan

Temple University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States
215-204-3085 (Phone)

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