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January/February 1997, 
Vol. 79, No. 1
Posted 1997-01-01

Wealth and Its Distribution 1983-1992: Secular Growth, Cyclical Stability

by John C. Weicher

Addressing popular concerns that the disparities between rich and poor appear to be growing, the author examines the distribution of wealth over the business cycle between 1983 and 1992 and concludes that, while there was a small, marginally significant increase in inequality during the expansionary phase, it was completely reversed during the recession. He finds, further, that although there were substantial increases in both total and average household wealth between 1983 and 1992, the distribution of wealth was the same in 1992 as it was in 1983, and 30 years earlier, in 1962.

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