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Constant focus: Engaging to measure wealth


This essay is intended to place the selection of my papers in this issue of the SJIAOS in the context of other research on wealth measurement and to provide an overview of their part in the history of the constant focus in the Survey of Consumer Finances to engage in measuring wealth more effectively. It also makes some recommendations for future work on that survey and possibly other systems of measurement.



Goldsmith R.W., Studies in the National Balance Sheet of the United States, National Bureau of Economic Research 2 (1963).


Goldsmith R.W., The National Wealth of the United States in the Postwar Period, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1962.


Goldsmith R.W., , Lipsey R.E., and Mendelson M., Studies in the National Balance Sheet of the United States. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1963.


Mallet B., A Method of Estimating Capital Wealth from Estate-Duty Statistics, Journal, Royal Statistical Society of London 71 (March 1908), 64-84.


Scheuren F., Personal Wealth Estimates from Tax Returns Filed during Calendar Year 1963, Internal Revenue Service,, 1962.


Lampman R.J., The share of top wealthholders in national wealth, 1922-56. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1962.


Holmes G.K., The Concentration of Wealth, Political Science Quarterly 3 (1893), 589-600.


Kennickell A.B., The Role of Over-sampling of the Wealthy in the Survey of Consumer Finances, in The IFC's contribution to the 56th ISI Session, Lisbon, August 2007, vol. 28, pp. 403-408.


Groves R.M., and Heeringa S.G., Responsive Design for Household Surveys: Tools for Actively Controlling Survey Errors and Costs, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society) 169(3) (2006), 439-457.


Kennickell A.B., Dirty and Unknown: Statistical Editing and Imputation in the SCF, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 31(3) (2015), 435-445.


Kennickell A.B., Curbstoning and Culture, Statistical Journal of the IAOS 31(2) (2015), 237-240.


Saez E., and Zucman G., Wealth Inequality in the United States since 1913, Evidence from Capitalized Income Tax Data, Quarterly Journal of Economics (2016), 519-578,


Bricker J., , Henriques A., , Krimmel J., and Sabelhaus J., Measuring Income and Wealth at the Top Using Administrative and Survey Data, FEDS Working Paper, 2015-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 2015.


Kennickell A.B., ``Ponds and Streams: Wealth and Income in the U.S, 1989 to 2007'' Finance and Economic Discussion Series, 2009-13, 2009/200913/200913pap.pdf.