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March 1987, 
Vol. 69, No. 3
Posted 1987-03-01

Changes in Wealth and the Velocity of Money

by G.J. Santoni

G. J. Santoni describes an economic theory that shows how increases in wealth relative to income can produce reductions in the income velocity of money. He then considers whether the atypical behavior that income velocity has exhibited in recent years can be attributed to this cause. Santoni examines various measures of wealth and shows that, with the sole exception of a stock market measure of wealth, they did not increase significantly relative to current income from 1982 through 1985. Moreover, even though the stock market wealth measure has risen relative to current income since 1982, the behavior of this ratio over longer periods does not appear to be related to the behavior of velocity. Thus, the evidence suggests that the decline in the income velocity of money since 1981 cannot be attributed to increases in these measures of wealth relative to current income.