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Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition

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  • Blau, Francine D
  • Graham, John W

Abstract

Using data from the 1976 and 1978 National Longitudinal. Surveys of young men and young women, this study examines racial differences in the magnitude and composition of wealth and the reasons for them. On average, young black families hold 18 percent of the wealth of young white families, and hold their wealth in proportionately different forms. Even after controlling for racial differences in income and other demographic factors, as much as three-quarters of the wealth gap remains unexplained. We speculate on the causes for this, concluding that racial differences in intergenerational transfers most likely play an important role.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 105 (1990)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 321-39

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:105:y:1990:i:2:p:321-39

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  1. William C. Brainard & James Tobin, 1968. "Pitfalls in Financial Model-Building," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 244, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Birnbaum, Howard & Weston, Rafael, 1974. "Home Ownership and the Wealth Position of Black and White Americans," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 20(1), pages 103-18, March.
  3. Kain, John F & Quigley, John Michael, 1972. "Housing Market Discrimination, Homeownership, and Savings Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 263-77, June.
  4. Galenson, Marjorie, 1972. "Do Blacks Save More?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 211-16, March.
  5. Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Lawrence H. Summers, 1980. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," NBER Working Papers 0445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Terrell, Henry S, 1971. "Wealth Accumulation of Black and White Families: The Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 26(2), pages 363-77, May.
  7. Roistacher, Elizabeth A & Goodman, John L, Jr, 1976. "Race and Home Ownership: Is Discrimination Disappearing?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(1), pages 59-70, March.
  8. Sobol, Marion Gross, 1979. "Factors Influencing Private Capital Accumulation on the "Eve of Retirement"," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(4), pages 585-93, November.
  9. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
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