Wealth Portfolios in the United Kingdom and the United States

James Banks, Richard Blundell and James P. Smith

in Perspectives on the Economics of Aging

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780226903057
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226903286 | DOI:
Wealth Portfolios in the United Kingdom and the United States

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This chapter documents and attempts to explain differences in household wealth distributions between the United States and the United Kingdom, with an emphasis on the quite different portfolios held in stock and housing equities in the two countries. As a proportion of their total wealth, British households hold relatively small amounts of financial assets—including equities in stock—compared to American households. In contrast, British households appear to move into home ownership at relatively young ages, and a large fraction of their household wealth is concentrated in housing. Finally, the age gradient in home equity appears to be much steeper in the United Kingdom whereas U.S. households exhibit a steeper age gradient in stock equity. Moreover, these portfolio differences between the two countries are not temporally static, as important changes have been taking place in both countries in their housing and equity markets.

Keywords: United States; United Kingdom; households; wealth; housing equities; financial assets; stock equity; equity markets

Chapter.  17030 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economics

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