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Racial Wealth Disparities: Is the Gap Closing?

Author

Listed:
  • Maury Gittleman

    (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Edward N. Wolff

    (NY Univ & Jerome Levy Econ Inst)

Abstract

A vast literature in economics has examined the economic progress of African Americans during this century. Most of these studies have focused on income--or on even narrower measures of economic well-being, such as earnings--to assess the extent to which any gains made relative to other racial groups can be attributed to such factors as declining racial discrimination, affirmative action policies, changes in industrial composition, or a narrowing gap between the educational levels of African Americans and the rest of the population. However, studies of earnings and income, while important for assessing the extent to which labor market discrimination exists and the ability of African Americans to move closer to whites in terms of acquiring the skills and connections that are currently rewarded by the markets, provide an incomplete picture. This paper therefore explores how African Americans have fared in terms of wealth, a less well-known factor and an important measure of economic well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Maury Gittleman & Edward N. Wolff, 2000. "Racial Wealth Disparities: Is the Gap Closing?," Macroeconomics 0004058, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0004058
    Note: Type of Document - Adobe Acrobat PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on PostScript; pages: 42; figures: included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. 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, May.
    2. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hildebrand, Vincent A., 2002. "The Wealth and Asset Holdings of U.S.- Born and Foreign-Born Households: Evidence from SIPP Data," IZA Discussion Papers 674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Rashad, Inas, 2008. "Height, health, and income in the US, 1984-2005," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 108-126, March.
    6. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Vincent A. Hildebrand, 2006. "The Wealth of Mexican Americans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    7. Asena Caner & Ed Wolff, 2002. "Asset Poverty in the United States, 1984-1999: Evidence from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Microeconomics 0209002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Rene Morissette & Xuelin Zhang & Marie Drolet, 2004. "The Evolution of Wealth Inequality in Canada, 1984-1999," Microeconomics 0401004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Asena Caner, 2003. "Savings of Entrepreneurs," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_390, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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).

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