2013 Update on the U.S. Earnings, Income, and Wealth Distributional Facts: A View from Macroeconomics
José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, Consultant
April 2016 | Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review, 37(1) | With Moritz Kuhn
This article is largely a description of the earnings, income, and wealth distributions in the United States in 2013 as measured by the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). We describe facts that lie at the joint distribution of the three variables. We look at inequality in relation to age, education, employer status, and marital status. We discuss the evolution of our results over the past 25 years (1989 – 2013), emphasizing the role played by the Great Recession. We pay special attention to the degree of income and wealth concentration at the top and discuss what the use of the SCF data can contribute to the ongoing debate on this topic. Finally, we look at which income sources and asset classes contribute most to income and wealth concentration.