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Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • John W. Graham

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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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2898.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2898.

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Date of creation: Jul 1990
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Publication status: published as The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. CV, No. 421, Issue 2, pp. 321-339, (May 1990).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2898

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  1. Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1981. "The Role of Intergenerational Transfers in Aggregate Capital Accumulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 706-32, August.
  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Galenson, Marjorie, 1972. "Do Blacks Save More?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 211-16, March.
  7. 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.
  8. William C. Brainard & James Tobin, 1968. "Pitfalls in Financial Model-Building," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 244, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  9. 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.
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