Panel: Wealth Loss and Recovery During the Great Recession
(Social & Family Policy)

Saturday, November 10, 2012: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
International C (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Organizers:  Beadsie Woo, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Moderators:  Jared Bernstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Chairs:  Carolina Reid, University of California-Berkeley

The Great Recession began with and resulted in large-scale destruction of family wealth and not all groups lost or are recovering equally. Which families were more vulnerable to the recession and which were protected by previous wealth accumulation? Which families have changed their financial behaviors in ways that could affect wealth for years to come? The answers to these questions will help target scarce resources toward recovery. The panel will start with an overall picture of what happened to the nation and then focus in on wealth inequality and how specific populations fared—minorities, low-education and income, the middle class, and families as different points in the life cycle (from young adults who lost their college education opportunity to retirees). This panel will also put the Great Recession’s wealth losses in the context of previous recessions’ wealth losses. The first paper by Bricker and coauthors will set the stage by providing the overall picture of changes in family wealth during the Great Recession based on the 2007-2009 Survey of Consumer of Finances (SCF) panel and the 2010 SCF cross section. The second paper by McKernan and coauthors focuses in on subgroups of families by age, race, educational attainment, and income and goes beyond facts on wealth loss to examine fundamental changes in financial behavior. To examine wealth over the lifecycle, while accounting for general shifts in savings by generation, the authors construct overlapping synthetic cohorts and use the SCF from 1983 through 2010. The third paper by Wolff focuses on how the middle class fared during the Great Recession and examines trends and patterns in wealth inequality and wealth holdings using the 1983 to 2010 SCF data. The fourth paper by Pfeffer and coauthors uses the 2003-2011 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to describe how the Great Recession altered prior trends and early evidence on the social effects of the Great Recession, especially for young adults, as well as which households have recovered their wealth losses in the post-recession era.

Surveying the Aftermath of the Storm: Changes In Family Finances From 2007 to 2009
Jesse Bricker1, Brian Bucks2, Arthur Kennickell1, Traci Mach1 and Kevin Moore3, (1)Federal Reserve Board of Governors, (2)Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, (3)Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Wealth Loss During the Great Recession: Facts, Impacts, and Policy Remedies
Signe-Mary McKernan1, Caroline Ratcliffe2, C. Steuerle2 and Sisi Zhang2, (1)Urban Institute, (2)The Urban Institute

Wealth Losses During and After the Recession and Their Intergenerational Spillover Effects
Fabian Pfeffer, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Sheldon Danziger, G.R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan and Robert Schoeni, University of Michigan

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