Research Report Impact of the Great Recession and Beyond
Disparities in Wealth Building by Generation and Race
Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, C. Eugene Steuerle, Sisi Zhang
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This paper uses over two decades of Survey of Consumer Finances data and a pseudo-panel technique to measure the impact of the Great Recession on wealth relative to the counterfactual of what wealth would have been given wealth accumulation trajectories. Our regression-adjusted synthetic cohort-level models find that the Great Recession reduced the wealth of American families by 28.5 percentnearly double the magnitude of previous pre-post mean descriptive estimates and double the magnitude of any previous recession since the 1980s. The housing market was only part of the story; all major wealth components fell as a result of the Great Recession.
Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Wealth and financial well-being Social safety net Race and equity
Tags Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Asset and debts Racial and ethnic disparities Income and wealth distribution Racial barriers to accessing the safety net Racial inequities in economic mobility Racial wealth gap Financial stability
Policy Centers Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population