Publication Date



Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, this study examines the influence of wealth relative to income across several child development outcomes. The wealth measures include net worth and whether the household has certain specific asset holdings. The child development measures cover two domains: academic achievement and socio-emotional behavior. The intent is to examine which measures of wealth have the most explanatory value with respect to child development outcomes and test whether these are distinct from income. Results show that wealth is a significant predictor of two out of three dependent variables and that these predictors have different effects across racial groups.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building


Subsequent publication: Williams Shanks, T. R. (2007). The impacts of household wealth on child development. Journal of Poverty, 11(2), 93–116. doi:10.1300/J134v11n02_05

Original Citation

Williams, T. R. (2004). The impacts of household wealth on child development (CSD Working Paper No. 04-07). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


American Dream Policy Demonstration (ADD)


academic achievement, child development, PSID, race, savings, asset holding, asset ownership, asset effects, ADD, American Dream Demonstration