Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review
A bimonthly research journal intended for an economically informed but broad readershipfrom the undergraduate student to the PhD. In print and online.
FOURTH QUARTER 2014 Vol. 96, No. 4
The Balance Sheets of Younger Americans: Is the American Dream at Risk?
Selected articles from a symposium sponsored by the Center for Household Financial Stability and the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, May 8-9, 2014
Student Loan Debt: Can Parental College Savings Help?
Postsecondary education costs in the United States today are rising with an increasing shift from societal responsibility to individual burden, thereby driving greater student borrowing. Evidence suggests that (i) such student debt may have undesirable educational effects and potentially jeopardize household balance sheets and (ii) student loans may better support educational attainment and economic mobility if accompanied by other, non-repayable financial awards.
Toward Healthy Balance Sheets: Are Savings Accounts a Gateway to Young Adults’ Asset Diversification and Accumulation?
Understanding the balance sheets of today’s young adults—particularly the factors that set them on a path to financial security through asset diversification and accumulation—lends some insight into the balance sheets they will have when they are older. This study uses panel data from the Census Bureau’s 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation to investigate the acquisition of a savings account as a gateway to asset diversification and accumulation for young adults.
Asset Holdings of Young Households: Trends and Patterns
The authors use multiple waves of the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) from 1989 to 2013 to examine the composition of the asset portfolios of young households whose head of household is between 18 and 41 years of age. The focus is on households’ decisions to hold different types of assets, including both financial assets (e.g., bank accounts, stocks, and retirement accounts) and nonfinancial assets (e.g., residential real estate, businesses, and automobiles).
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