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Dual private pension households and the distribution of wealth in the United States

Nancy Jianakoplos () and Vickie L. Bajtelsmit

Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, 2002, vol. 1, issue 2, 131-155

Abstract: Using data from the 1998 Survey of Consumer Finances, this paper examines the impact of dual private pension households on the distribution of household wealth in the United States. This paper builds on three lines of previous research: inquiries into ‘assortative mating’, i.e., the tendency for people with similar characteristics to marry; studies emphasizing the importance of pensions as a component of household wealth; and recent research examining how wives' earnings alter the distribution of household income. Evidence of ‘assortative private pensions’, i.e., the tendency for people with private pensions to be married to people with private pensions, is presented. Estimates of the expected value of private pension and social security wealth are added to measures of household non-retirement net worth to obtain the value household wealth. These data indicate that wives' private pensions in dual private pension households contribute marginally to greater equality in the wealth distribution.

Date: 2002
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