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Measuring Wealth and Financial Intermediation and Their Links to the Real Economy$
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Charles R. Hulten and Marshall B. Reinsdorf

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226204260

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226204437.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Drowning or Weathering the Storm?

Drowning or Weathering the Storm?

Changes in Family Finances from 2007 to 2009

Chapter:
(p.323) 10 Drowning or Weathering the Storm?
Source:
Measuring Wealth and Financial Intermediation and Their Links to the Real Economy
Author(s):

Jesse Bricker

Brian Bucks

Arthur Kennickell

Traci Mach

Kevin Moore

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226204437.003.0010

In 2009, the Federal Reserve Board implemented a survey of families that participated in the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) to gain detailed information on the effects of the recent recession on all types of households. Using data from the 2007–09 SCF panel, we highlight the variation in households’ financial experiences by examining the distribution of changes in families’ balance sheets. Further, we use information on changes in families’ saving, investing, and spending behavior to consider the potential longer-term consequences of the current recession on households’ finances and decisions. Most families experienced a decline in wealth between 2007 and 2009, but many families saw only small changes on net, and others saw substantial increases in wealth. This pattern of gains and losses typically holds within demographic groups. Changes in families’ wealth over the period appear to reflect changes in asset values (particularly the value of homes, stocks, and businesses) rather than changes in the level of ownership of assets and debts or in the amount of debt held. On the whole, families appear more cautious in 2009 than in 2007, as most families reported greater desired buffer savings, and many expressed concern over future income and employment.

Keywords:   household saving, personal income, personal finance, investment decisions, household wealth

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