Immigration and the Nativity Wealth Gap in Old Age

Noah Lewin-Epstein, Tel Aviv University

Household wealth is important for well-being in old age and for intergenerational transmission of advantage. From a life course perspective we address two factors that impact on wealth accumulation: period of immigration and age at immigration. Data from SHARE-Israel collected in 2005-06 are used. We investigate differences in the wealth distribution of immigrant groups and native Jews and arrive at a number of noteworthy findings. First, the immigrant–native disparities differ according to the location along the wealth distribution and are particularly large at higher levels. Second, immigrants in earlier periods are able to close the wealth gap and net of other factors accumulate more household wealth than natives. Third, part of the nativity wealth gap derives from the impact of inheritance on wealth as immigrants were considerably less likely than natives of similar age to receive an inheritance. These have important implications for growing inequality in older age.

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Presented in Session 98: Aging, Health, and Well-Being: International Perspectives