Editor Pick – Growing Wealth, Inequality, and Housing in the United States
In a recent paper, Zhu Xiao Di of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University investigates the effect of increased housing wealth on the distribution of wealth among US households. Using data from the 1995 and 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances, he observes that, during the decade, housing wealth made a positive contribution to the overall net household wealth. This holds even after taking into account the fact that households tended to assume more mortgage debt than before. However, he finds evidence that the recent increase of US housing wealth contributed to growing inequality.
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