Personal Wealth


  • Commentary

    A Tale of Two Americas

    Economic pain in the United States is obvious and palpable everywhere except in the stock market. This spotlights inequality that has been increasing for decades. Undoing disparities will require firm policy commitment over many years.

    Jul 9, 2020

  • Essay

    What Would It Take to Close America's Black-White Wealth Gap?

    White Americans hold ten times more total wealth than Black Americans, a disparity that has worsened in recent decades. RAND researchers modeled wealth across millions of households and tested several funding scenarios to see which could most effectively close the gap.

    May 9, 2023

Explore Personal Wealth

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Financial Independence and Gender Equality: Joining the Dots Between Income, Wealth, and Power

    This report presents evidence on gender inequalities in financial independence in the EU, with a particular focus on how financial independence has been defined and measured.

    May 10, 2024

  • Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass talks provides a mentoring session at the Department of the Air Force Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Conference, September 18, 2023, Washington, D.C., photo by Capt. Shane Ellis/U.S. Air Force


    Demystifying the Wealth Gap to Inform Military Talent Management Decisions

    Wealth disparities across gender and racial/ethnic minority groups affect current and future service members. A better understanding of these disparities can help the Department of the Air Force and the Pentagon take actions that bridge the wealth gap and promote equality and inclusion.

    Jan 29, 2024

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Modeling America's Racial Wealth Disparities: Mathematical Models Help Chart Pathways for Closing Racial Wealth Gaps

    This commentary discusses how simulation models can help chart pathways for closing racial wealth gaps in the United States.

    Jul 12, 2023

  • An older black couple look at a laptop together at the kitchen table, photo by AJ_Watt/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Spending Trajectories After Age 65 Variation by Initial Wealth

    Financial planning requires information about how spending needs evolve with age. Spending declines after age 65, also among wealthy households, suggesting that the decline is due to changes in the desire to spend, not tightening economic circumstances.

    Jun 27, 2023

  • Periodical


    RAND Review: May-June 2023

    The cover story commemorates RAND's 75th anniversary. One feature article explores what it would take to eliminate racial wealth disparities in the United States; another highlights a promising mental health first aid initiative in New York City.

    May 12, 2023

  • Black couple holding sold sign sitting on porch of a house, photo by valentinrussanov/Getty Images


    To Help African Americans Gain Generational Wealth, Look to the Housing Market

    African American families have significantly less wealth than White families, even after reaching the middle class. Home ownership is, for the vast majority of Americans, the primary vehicle for accruing wealth, and passing it down through generations. This is a crucial time for policymakers to consider policies that focus on improving home ownership rates for African Americans.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Illustrations of a black woman and a tree representing wealth, illustration by Pete Soriano, from Atlas Illustrations and dar/Adobe Stock


    Accounting for Black-White Wealth Differences

    Wealth accumulation is not solely determined by a person's choices and ability. Many factors affect individual wealth, including parental income, credit, and systemic discrimination. These factors have a cumulative effect and can lead to persistent disparities over generations.

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Illustrations of a black woman and a tree representing wealth, illustration by Pete Soriano, from Atlas Illustrations and dar/Adobe Stock


    Examining the Loss of Wealth and Downward Mobility of African Americans

    Black children who grow up in middle-class households are less likely than white children who grow up in middle-class households to replicate their parents' socioeconomic status. What key factors contribute to this disparity?

    Dec 7, 2022

  • Illustrations of a black man and a tree representing wealth, illustration by Pete Soriano, from Atlas Illustrations and dar/Adobe Stock


    Overcoming Compound Racial Inequity

    Differences in Black and white Americans' economic status show how the harms of the past—slavery, segregation, discrimination—live on in the present. Could wealth allocations help to close the racial wealth gap?

    Dec 7, 2022

  • A man's profile in front of an abstract image of branches and hundred dollar bills, illustration by Kekeli Sumah/RAND Corporation, from Andre Hunter/Unsplash and Pete Soriano/RAND Corporation, from Atlas Illustrations/Adobe Stock and dar/Adobe Stock


    Investigating the U.S. Racial Wealth Gap

    The gap in wealth between Black and white Americans is a product of historical realities that continue to shape economic outcomes. Policy interventions to address current wealth disparities must understand the long-standing inequities that contributed to them.

    Dec 6, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Saving Regret and Procrastination

    Saving regret, or the wish in hindsight to have saved more earlier in life, is widespread in older populations. Little of the variation is explained by procrastination and psychological factors. Unemployment, health, and divorce are larger factors.

    Nov 23, 2022

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Effect of Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease on Household Financial Outcomes

    Our goal in this study is estimate, on net, the financial effects of early-stage Alzheimer's Disease, from the start of first symptoms to diagnosis, on individuals and their families.

    Mar 10, 2020

  • Journal Article

    The Effect of Housing Wealth Losses on Spending in the Great Recession

    This article represents the first U.S. study employing exclusively household-level longitudinal data spanning the Great Recession to estimate the response of household spending to negative wealth shocks induced by the sharp declines in house prices.

    Sep 20, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Financial Knowledge and Portfolio Complexity in Singapore

    This paper reports the first analysis of older Singaporeans' financial literacy using a unique new dataset, the Singapore Life Panel (SLP®).

    Sep 20, 2019

  • Woman seated on the floor, surrounded by bills and receipts, photo by David Sacks/Getty Images


    What the Shutdown Revealed About the Fragility of American Life

    The government shutdown highlighted the lack of resilience many suffer from when they encounter unexpected economic events. The median American family has been losing ground for decades. Policy responses to address this situation will be complex and difficult, but are much needed.

    Feb 11, 2019

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Subjective Mortality Risk and Bequests

    The results of this paper show a strong empirical relevance of subjective survival curves, indicating the importance to take into consideration of this dimension of individual heterogeneity in life cycle models.

    Oct 6, 2017

  • New shoe and old shoe side by side.


    Trends in Inequality and the World's Eight Richest Men

    While Oxfam reports have done a good job of bringing attention to the problem of inequality, they may give the false impression that global inequality has been rising instead of falling. Global inequality has actually been on the decline while inequality within the developed world is increasing.

    Feb 10, 2017

  • Illustration of people thinking and organizing their thoughts


    Book Review: 'Bourgeois Equality'

    In Bourgeois Equality, economist and historian Deirdre McCloskey advances the theory that ideas — not capital, institutions, innovation, R&D, tax policy, monetary policy, or regulatory policy — are the propelling force behind economic and societal growth.

    Sep 30, 2016