The Role of Local Socioeconomic Conditions in Family Asset Accumulation

Research Report

The Role of Local Socioeconomic Conditions in Family Asset Accumulation

Abstract

How do the characteristics of your county of residence influence your family’s wealth accumulation over the next ten years? This study examines pre-retirement wealth accumulation during 1989-1999 for families headed by 25 to 54 year olds in 1989. Controlling for individual and family characteristics in 1989, we find that a 1 percentage point increase in the share of county residents with at least a bachelor’s degree is associated with $1,448 in higher 1999 family wealth. This externality of a more educated local population strengthens the case for policies to promote postsecondary education and thus increase the prospects for family wealth-building.

Research Area: 

Cross-Center Initiative

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