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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2008

Marco Cagetti
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Mariacristina De Nardi*
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and NBER
Address correspondence to: Mariacristina De Nardi, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Research Department, 230 South La Salle Street, Chicago, IL 60604, USA; e-mail:


In the United States wealth is highly concentrated and very unequally distributed: the richest 1% hold one third of the total wealth in the economy. Understanding the determinants of wealth inequality is a challenge for many economic models. We summarize some key facts about the wealth distribution and what economic models have been able to explain so far.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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