IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lev/levppb/ppb_66.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Racial Wealth Disparities Is the Gap Closing?

Author

Listed:
  • Edward N. Wolff

Abstract

Despite decades of policies aimed at improving the economic position of African Americans in terms of relative income and earnings, they remain substantially behind whites, and research presented in this brief indicates that the wealth gap is even more staggering. Following families over time in order to understand racial differences in the sources and patterns of wealth accumulation, the author finds that African Americans would have gained significant ground relative to whites in the past 30 years if they had inherited similar amounts, comparable levels of family income, and more similar portfolio compositions. Therefore, even if the income gap between whites and African Americans were immediately eliminated, it may take another two generations for the wealth gap to close. However, certain policies could help speed up the process.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward N. Wolff, "undated". "Racial Wealth Disparities Is the Gap Closing?," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_66, Levy Economics Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_66
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.levyinstitute.org/pubs/ppb66.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kennickell, Arthur B & Starr-McCluer, Martha, 1997. "Household Saving and Portfolio Change: Evidence from the 1983-89 SCF Panel," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(4), pages 381-399, December.
    2. Huggett, Mark & Ventura, Gustavo, 2000. "Understanding why high income households save more than low income households," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 361-397, April.
    3. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
    4. 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.
    5. Fairlie, Robert W, 1999. "The Absence of the African-American Owned Business: An Analysis of the Dynamics of Self-Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(1), pages 80-108, January.
    6. Greenwood, Daphne T & Wolff, Edward N, 1992. "Changes in Wealth in the United States, 1962-1983: Savings, Capital Gains, Inheritance, and Lifetime Transfers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 261-288.
    7. Long, James E & Caudill, Steven B, 1992. "Racial Differences in Homeownership and Housing Wealth, 1970-1986," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(1), pages 83-100, January.
    8. David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Discrimination in the Small-Business Credit Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 930-943, November.
    9. Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
    10. Erik Hurst & Ming Ching Luoh & Frank P. Stafford, 1998. "The Wealth Dynamics of American Families, 1984-94," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 267-338.
    11. 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.
    12. Munnell, Alicia H. & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell & Lynn E. Browne & James McEneaney, 1996. "Mortgage Lending in Boston: Interpreting HMDA Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 25-53, March.
    13. Juster, F. Thomas & Smith, James P. & Stafford, Frank, 1999. "The measurement and structure of household wealth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 253-275, June.
    14. Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
    15. Frank P. Stafford & Ngina S. Chiteji, 1999. "Portfolio Choices of Parents and Their Children as Young Adults: Asset Accumulation by African-American Families," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 377-380, May.
    16. Neuman, Shoshana & Silber, Jacques, 1994. "The econometrics of labor market segregation and discrimination," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-4, March.
    17. Wolff, Edward N, 1994. "Trends in Household Wealth in the United States, 1962-83 and 1983-89," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(2), pages 143-174, June.
    18. Nancy Jianakoplos & Paul Menchik & Owen Irvine, 1989. "Using Panel Data to Assess the Bias in Cross-sectional Inferences of Life-Cycle Changes in the Level and Composition of Household Wealth," NBER Chapters,in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 553-644 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Kennickell, Arthur B & Starr-McCluer, Martha, 1997. "Retrospective Reporting of Household Wealth: Evidence from the 1983-1989 Survey of Consumer Finances," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(4), pages 452-463, October.
    20. Menchik, Paul L & Jianakoplos, Nancy Ammon, 1997. "Black-White Wealth Inequality: Is Inheritance the Reason?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 428-442, April.
    21. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2006. "The Wealth And Asset Holdings Of U.S.-Born And Foreign-Born Households: Evidence From Sipp Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 17-42, March.
    2. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2006. "The Wealth of Mexican Americans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    3. Rene Morissette & Xuelin Zhang & Marie Drolet, 2004. "The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984-1999," Microeconomics 0401004, EconWPA.
    4. Joseph G. Altonji & Ulrich Doraszelski, 2005. "The Role of Permanent Income and Demographics in Black/White Differences in Wealth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(1).
    5. Ronald L. Straight, 2002. "Wealth: Asset-Accumulation Differences by Race–SCF Data, 1995 and 1998," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 330-334, May.
    6. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
    7. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2007. "Why Are Black-Owned Businesses Less Successful than White-Owned Businesses? The Role of Families, Inheritances, and Business Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 289-323.
    8. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
    9. Asena Caner, 2003. "Savings of Entrepreneurs," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_390, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Michael A. Stegman & Allison Freeman & Jong-Gyu Paik, 2007. "The portfolios and wealth of low-income homeowners and renters: findings from an evaluation of Self-Help Ventures Fund’s Community Advantage Program," Community Development Investment Center Working Paper 2007-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    11. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2008. "Race and Entrepreneurial Success: Black-, Asian-, and White-Owned Businesses in the United States," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026206281x, January.
    12. Asena Caner & Ed Wolff, 2002. "Asset Poverty in the United States, 1984-1999: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Microeconomics 0209002, EconWPA.
    13. Drolet, Marie & Morissette, Rene & Zhang, Xuelin, 2002. "The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984-1999," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2002187e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    14. Asena Caner & Edward N. Wolff, "undated". "Asset Poverty in The United States: Its Persistence in an Expansionary Economy," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_76, Levy Economics Institute.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lev:levppb:ppb_66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elizabeth Dunn). General contact details of provider: http://www.levyinstitute.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.