The wealth effect is an economic theory of consumption patterns that states that consumption increases when consumers’ perceived it increases. Consumer perceptions of their wealth typically depend on stocks, real estate, and liquid assets such as cash and bank accounts.

However, unlike cash in the bank, real estate and stock values are only paper assets and do not represent tangible assets until sold, possibly at a lower price. Until an actual sale, appreciation is just a market assessment of potential wealth.

Key Facts

  • The wealth effect posits that consumers feel more financially secure and confident about their wealth when their homes or investment portfolios increase.
  • They are made to feel more prosperous, even if their income and fixed costs are the same as before.
  • Critics argue that increased spending leads to asset appreciation, not the other way around and that only higher home values can be potentially linked to higher expenditure.

The Economic Marvel Of The Wealth Effect Owes Its Power To Consumer Psychology.

The increased paper value of homes and stock prices make consumers more confident. They feel more secure, spend more money and are more willing to buy goods and services by borrowing more.

However, demand is not increasing for all goods as consumers feel more affluent. As consumers become more affluent, some consumers neglect cheaper goods and trade in more expensive items. For example, consumers could buy large, more expensive, fuel-efficient SUVs under it  instead of buying small, fuel-efficient cars.

Economists Who Have Studied The Marvel Have Quantified Its Impact.

In general, they have found that it caused by the rising house or stock prices increases consumer spending by 2 to 9 per cent for every dollar of increased wealth. One study found that the wealth effect of rising house prices increased consumer spending more than the wealth effect of higher stock prices.

Economists Often cite the Wealth Effect

when reviewing consumer spending or user confidence. The Fed was making the Fed’s second attempt to target the US through quantitative pricing Easing to stimulate the economy would push stock prices higher.

Those who trust in the wealth effect caused by rising stock and house prices usually concede that falling house and stock prices can produce an inverse wealth effect, in which falling consumer confidence in perceived wealth can lead to

Though, non all economists subscribe to the wealth effect theory. Nearly point to the boom of the late 1990s and subsequent bust in the early 2000s. They say that the boom and bust took no significant increase or decrease in consumer spending.


The wealth effect is the variation in spending that attends to a change in supposed it. Regularly . it is positive: spending changes in a similar direction as perceived it .

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