Immigration and wealth inequality in old age: The case of Israel

Noah Lewin-Epstein*, Moshe Semyonov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Relatively little research has been devoted to the long term implications of immigration for the accumulation of household wealth. This accumulation has significance both for the well-being in old age and for intergenerational transmission of advantage and disadvantage. Our study addresses the nativity wealth gap and examines its sources. Data for the analysis were obtained from the SHARE-Israel study conducted in 2005-2006. Our sample includes 1366 Jewish households, either native-born or immigrant. We use OLS regression to estimate the nativity wealth gap and arrive at a number of noteworthy findings. First, immigrant-native disparities are large and do not disappear even after many decades of residence. Second, an important source of the disparity in accumulated household wealth is the fact that immigrants are considerably less likely than natives to have received a substantial inheritance. Third, wealth is strongly related to household income and more so among some immigrant groups than among natives. Fourth, there is substantial variation in the wealth of immigrant groups defined by their geo-cultural origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-71
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2013


FundersFunder number
German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development1021-305.4/2008


    • Household wealth
    • Immigrants
    • Israel
    • Nativity gap
    • Net worth


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