This book constitutes a major contribution to the field of household wealth and wealth mobility. It is filled with new and intriguing findings on what it takes to become rich in America. Well written and accessible, it should appeal to a wide audience both in the United States and abroad. -- Edward Wolff, New York University
Lisa Keister has produced a magnificently comprehensive examination of wealth attainment and mobility in the contemporary United States, including historical comparisons to the wealth processes in the early twentieth century. She attends to critical issues of how ethnicity, religion, and gender influence wealth attainment and mobility, and she assesses theories of wealth attainment and mobility using several high quality data sources. Keister's work on the accumulation of fortunes provides a lucid and provocative compliment to Williams Julius Wilson's The Truly Disadvantaged. -- Darren E. Sherkat, Southern Illinois University
Although basic facts about wealth inequality are no longer a mystery, we still know very little about who the wealthy are, how they got there, and what prevents other people from becoming rich. That is, we know very little about the process of wealth mobility. This book explores wealth by investigating some of the most basic questions about wealth mobility. How much mobility is there? Has the nature of mobility changed over time? Is entrepreneurship important? How much does inheritance matter? What other factors encourage or prevent wealth mobility, and how do these change over the course of a person's life?