This paper examines the wealth mobility of a panel of mature American men between 1966 and 1981. Although greater persistence exists than within the income distribution, a sizeable degree of movement within the wealth distribution is observed. Slightly more than half of the households changed quintiles. However, the magnitude of the movement was modest, with 78% of the moves to an adjacent quintile. Movements into either extreme of the wealth distribution were relatively rare. Really big moves, from the poorest to richest group, were extremely rare, with the probability of a black making such a move within fifteen years approximately zero.

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