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Quantile regression results

Since many parents who are capable of offering financial assistance to their children’s education will do so, the existence of such debt is a measure of available family support. Despite the much higher college attainment rates among the wealthier terciles, the incidence of education debt declined with wealth.8 Similarly, the remaining two inheritance variables offer little surprise. Both variables measure how much inheritance households in each group, on average, either received or expect to receive in the future. Both corroborate the significant role that family inheritances may play in the wealth-accumulation process. Taken collectively, these statistics generate little surprise. Wealthier households

are older, better educated, and more likely to be White. They earn higher incomes, experience fewer misfortunes, and report greater capacity to save. Wealthier households own the listed assets in much greater numbers and report substantially less aversion to risk. Lastly, households in the middle and top terciles benefit much more extensively from financial help from their families. Given what we have seen in prior chapters, none of this is remarkable. With few exceptions, these differences are statistically significant as indicated in Table 6.1 by the asterisks.9 Consequently, these results demonstrate how different the circumstances are that confront households in each of these wealth terciles. While it may be true that the wealth-building pathways are open to all households, these figures corroborate how disparate their experiences are depending on their position along each pathway. Sharpening the focus on this issue is the aim of the remainder of this chapter.