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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 and to a lesser extent barriers to the accumulation of business and home equity most likely play a role.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau & John W. Graham, 1990. "Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 321-339.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:105:y:1990:i:2:p:321-339.
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