Family Structure, Race, and Wealth Ownership: A Longitudinal Exploration of Wealth Accumulation Processes
Researchers have documented racial inequalities in wealth ownership and have offered a variety of explanations to account for these differences. One potentially important contributing factor that has received little attention is racial differences in family structure. This paper explores racial differences in the structure of family of origin and family in adulthood and examines the impact of these differences on wealth accumulation patterns. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, I find that large family size and family disruptions in childhood are negatively associated with wealth accumulation, portfolio behavior, and wealth mobility in adulthood. My analyses suggest that family size is a more important factor determining wealth accumulation for whites than for blacks or Hispanics and that family disruption is most strongly related to wealth outcomes for Hispanics. I find that family structure in adulthood is only modestly associated with overall wealth but strongly related to portfolio behavior and wealth mobility and that these relationships are relatively fixed across racial groups. My findings lend support to arguments about the importance of the role that resource dilution plays in determining life outcomes. They also suggest that efforts to reduce racial inequality in wealth ownership may be most effective if they seek to reduce the impact of deprivation early in life.
|Date of creation:||25 Oct 2000|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 33; figures: included|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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 428-42, April.
- Francine D. Blau & John W. Graham, 1989.
"Black-White Differences in Wealth and Asset Composition,"
NBER Working Papers
2898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- Greg J. Duncan & Saul D. Hoffman, 1985. "Economic Consequences of Marital Instability," NBER Chapters, in: Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-Being, pages 427-470 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Arthur B. Kennickell & Martha Starr-McCluer & Annika E. Sunden, 1997. "Family finances in the U.S.: recent evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-24.
- F. Thomas Juster & James P. Smith & Frank Stafford, 2004.
"The Measurement and Structure of Household Wealth,"
Labor and Demography
- Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst, 2002. "The Transition To Home Ownership And The Black-White Wealth Gap," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 281-297, May.
- Judith Blake, 1981. "Family size and the quality of children," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 421-442, November.
- F. Thomas Juster & Kathleen A. Kuester, 1990.
"Differences in the measurement of wealth, wealth inequality, and wealth composition obtained from alternative U.S. wealth surveys,"
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
116, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Juster, F Thomas & Kuester, Kathleen A, 1991. "Differences in the Measurement of Wealth, Wealth Inequality and Wealth Composition Obtained from Alternative U.S. Wealth Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(1), pages 33-62, March.
- Zagorsky, Jay L, 1999. "Young Baby Boomers' Wealth," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 45(2), pages 135-56, June.
- Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
- Stafford, Frank P, 1987. "Women's Work, Sibling Competition, and Children's School Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 972-80, December.
- C. Russell Hill & Frank P. Stafford, 1978. "Intergenerational Wealth Transfers and the Educational Decisions of Male Youth: An Alternative Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(3), pages 515-520.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004051. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.