Op-Eds & Columns
The Problem of "Stupid" in Economics
November 17, 2014, TruthOut
Inequality, Student Debt and Millennials
November 12, 2014, The Hill
Full Employment: The Recovery’s Missing Ingredient
Jared Bernstein and Dean Baker
November 3, 2014, The Washington Post
Will Democrats Be Able to Talk Seriously About the Economy in 2016?
November 3, 2014, TruthOut
Paid Sick Days Benefit Worker and Employer
Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman
October 17, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer
Household Wealth Falls Considerably for Majority of Americans
November 6, 2014
For Immediate Release: November 6, 2014
Contact: Alan Barber (202) 293-5380 x115
A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows that most households now have less wealth now than they did in 1989. The report, “The Wealth of Households: An Analysis of the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances,” presents data on household wealth by age cohort based on the results of the most recent Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF). The analysis shows little or no gains for the majority of Americans over the last 25 years, even in the years since the end of the recession. This is true of and particularly concerning for near retirees.
“This is especially bad for those nearing retirement,” said Dean Baker, a co-director of CEPR and an author of the paper. “Households in this age cohort will not have a chance to benefit from any strengthening of the economy and will only have the wealth they have accumulated to date to depend on in their retirement.”
The authors document several trends gleaned from the SCF. Between 1989 and 2013, average household net worth rose from $342,300 to $528,400 in 2013 dollars. However the average gains are misleading, as the population was older in 2013 than it was in 1989. More importantly, median net worth actually fell from $84,100 in 1989 to $81,400 in 2013, indicating that much of the gains of wealth accumulation went to those in the top quintiles. Other key points of the analysis include:
- The median net wealth of near retirees (ages 55-64) was $165,700 in 2013, down from 177,600 in 1989.
- The average non-housing wealth for the typical household in the 55-64 year old cohort was $89,300, compared to a peak of $160,700 in 2004.
- The net wealth for the middle quintile (ages 35-44) of mid-career workers averaged $50,100, less than half the net wealth of the same quintile ($103,800) in 1989.
- The average housing equity for the middle quintile of mid-career workers was also down considerably, from $63,500 in 1989 to $23,200 in 2013.
- There was some improvement for the middle quintile of recent retirees who saw their average net wealth go up from $142,900 in 1989 to $239,300 in 2013, but this was still less than the peak of $270,700 hit in 2007.
When compared with the previous Surveys of Consumer Finances, it can generally be said that wealth grew in the United States from 1989 to 2007 and shrank from then on. At the time of the 2013 survey, the stock market had almost recovered to its 2007 peak. House prices had not. With house prices representing a larger share of assets for the bottom three fifths of Americans, this helped increase the differences in wealth between the top and the bottom. All in all, the results of the survey yield a pessimistic picture of economic progress since the end of the recession.
The full report can be found here.
The Affordable Care Act and Part-Time Employment: A Family-Friendly Policy
September 11, 2014
Pay-Cut Clock Documents Billions of Dollars Lost by Minimum-Wage Workers
July, 24, 2014
Unions Boost Women’s Earnings, Benefits, and Workplace Flexibility
June 18, 2014
Federal Paid Leave Policy Could Allow Millions of Working Americans Access to Much Needed Family and Medical Leave
June 16, 2014
The Way to a People Centered Economy
October 2014, Dean Baker
The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Self-Employment
March 6,2014, Dean Baker's testimony at the hearing on "Obamacare and the Self-Employed: What About Us?"
Testimony on “The Importance of Social Security for Sustaining Living Standards in Retirement”
December 18, 2013, Dean Baker's testimony at the hearing on "The Role of Social Security, Defined Benefits, and Private Retirement Accounts in the Face of the Retirement Crisis
Presentation to Florida’s Employer-Sponsored Benefits Study Task Force
November 19, 2013, Eileen Appelbaum and Teresa Kroeger Present to Florida’s Employer-Sponsored Benefits Study Task Force in Tallahassee, Florida
Testimony on Return Assumptions on New Mexico Pension Plans
January 23, 2013, Joint Session of the Labor and Education Committees New Mexico State Legislature
Neoliberalism, Globalization, and Inequalities: Consequences for Health and Quality of Life
with chapters by John Schmitt, Ben Zipperer, Mark Weisbrot, Dean Baker and David Rosnick Baywood Publishing Co. (2007)
The Causes of Economic Hardships for the Middle Class
Dean Bakers testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, January 31, 2007
CEPR Economics Seminar Series
Audio and video files of ten CEPR lectures on economic issues
Bridging the Gaps
CEPR is teaming up with state and national groups to document the persistent gaps between low-income working families basic needs and the resources available to them.
Services and Employment:
Explaining the U.S.-European Gap
with two chapters co-authored by John Schmitt
Princeton University Press (2007)
Flat World, Big Gaps:
with a chapter by Mark Weisbrot, Dean Baker, and David Rosnick, and a chapter co-authored by Heather Boushey
(forthcoming in May 2007)
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