NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Justin Weidner

Department of Economics
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ, 08544

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2017Lifetime Incomes in the United States over Six Decades
with Fatih Guvenen, Greg Kaplan, Jae Song: w23371
Using panel data on individual labor income histories from 1957 to 2013, we document two empirical facts about the distribution of lifetime income in the United States. First, from the cohort that entered the labor market in 1967 to the cohort that entered in 1983, median lifetime income of men declined by 10%–19%. We find little-to-no rise in the lower three-quarters of the percentiles of the male lifetime income distribution during this period. Accounting for rising employer-provided health and pension benefits partly mitigates these findings but does not alter the substantive conclusions. For women, median lifetime income increased by 22%–33% from the 1957 to the 1983 cohort, but these gains were relative to very low lifetime income for the earliest cohort. Much of the difference betwee...
April 2014The Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth
with Greg Kaplan, Giovanni L. Violante: w20073
The wealthy hand-to-mouth are households who hold little or no liquid wealth (cash, checking, and savings accounts), despite owning sizable amounts of illiquid assets (assets that carry a transaction cost, such as housing or retirement accounts). We use survey data on household portfolios for the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain to document the share of such households across countries, their demographic characteristics, the composition of their balance sheets, and the persistence of hand-to-mouth status over the life cycle. The portfolio configuration of the wealthy hand-to-mouth suggests that these households may have a high marginal propensity to consume out of transitory income changes, a prediction for which we find empirical support in PSID data. W...

Published: Greg Kaplan & Giovanni L. Violante & Justin Weidner, 2014. "The Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, vol 2014(1), pages 77-138.

 
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