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Resource Category: Studies of Wealth Inequity

There has been much research activity in the past regarding disparities in income, educational attainment, career progression, etc. disaggregated by race, but studies of wealth as a measure of net household assets are comparatively rare. The pieces in this category represent some of the best new research on wealth with a racial equity lens.

Resource Summaries

Article February 2024

Wealth Inequality by Age / Wealth Inequality by Race and Ethnicity in the Post-Pandemic Era

By By Rajashri Chakrabarti, Natalia Emanuel, and Ben Lahey

In this two-part series on wealth inequality out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the authors work to understand how net worth has changed for Americans during and coming out of the pandemic. Expanding on Survey of Consumer Finances data by linking individual level records to financial accounts, the series’ charts the growth in net worth from 2019 through the first half of 2023 across age as well as race and ethnicity.

In this two-part series on wealth inequality out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the authors work to understand how net worth has changed for Americans during and coming out of the pandemic. Expanding on Survey of Consumer Finances data by linking individual level records to financial accounts, the series’ charts the growth in net worth from 2019 through the first half of 2023 across age as well as race and ethnicity.

In Wealth Inequality by Age in the Post-Pandemic Era, they find that wealth grew most rapidly for 18-39 year-olds, driven mostly by appreciation of individual business assets. Though these equities are more volatile, the authors suggest that individuals further from retirement may be more likely to invest in them due to the potential for increased returns. Still, they are not able to definitively say why this shift towards equities occurred. Older age groups, by contrast, held larger shares in mutual funds, which tended to be more stable over this period.

Understanding change in wealth by race and ethnicity is more complicated, as the authors find that while net worth for all racial groups (in Racial and Ethnic Wealth Inequality in the Post-Pandemic Era), grew in the first year of the pandemic, this growth quickly slowed for Black individuals by late 2022, and has since reversed itself and fallen below 2019 levels of wealth by the end of the first half of 2023. These data stand in contrast to findings presented by the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which suggest that net worth grew for all groups over a similar period. However, the latest SCF data was collected from March through December of 2022, which may have masked more rapid shifts evidenced in these datasets. Indeed, the inclusion of wealth data from the first half of 2023 is a new addition to our understanding of wealth not available in the SCF.

‘Read More’ link directs you to “Part 1: Racial and Ethnic Wealth Inequality in the Post-Pandemic Era”

Report December 2023

Wealth Surged in the Pandemic, but Debt Endures for Poorer Black and Hispanic Families

By Rakesh Kochhar, Mohamad Moslimani

Using newly released data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, Pew finds that wealth grew for most American households from 2019 to 2021, in part likely a result of new and expanded government support programs during the pandemic. Data from this new SIPP analysis are less current than data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, which goes up to 2022, but the SIPP sample size is larger, allowing for more detailed demographic analysis.

Using newly released data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, Pew finds that wealth grew for most American households from 2019 to 2021, in part likely a result of new and expanded government support programs during the pandemic. Data from this new SIPP analysis are less current than data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, which goes up to 2022, but the SIPP sample size is larger, allowing for more detailed demographic analysis.

The authors find that this overall growth helped close wealth gaps between and within racial groups across the pandemic, and that of all groups, the gap between richer and poorer Black households closed the most. While proportional wealth gaps closed for most groups, most of the increases in real dollar terms still accrued to richer households. Further analyses in this report focus on breaking out households by asset class and value, and the finding that the 60 percent of wealth held by Black and Hispanic homeowners is thanks to the equity they have in their homes.

Report October 2023

Closing the Latino wealth gap: Exploring regional differences and lived experiences

By Tonantzin Carmona, Noreen M. Sugrue

In this report, researchers from the Brookings Institution examine Latino wealth, highlighting the diverse experiences of Latinos in the United States. Part 1 of the report uses the 2021 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to analyze regional differences in the Latino-white wealth gap and explore relative differences in wealth across Latinos in different parts of the U.S.

In this report, researchers from the Brookings Institution examine Latino wealth, highlighting the diverse experiences of Latinos in the United States. Part 1 of the report uses the 2021 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to analyze regional differences in the Latino-white wealth gap and explore relative differences in wealth across Latinos in different parts of the U.S.

Part 2 of the report presents findings from community conversations with Latinos from lower-wealth backgrounds. The qualitative research findings indicate that participants aspire to save and build wealth but have to prioritize immediate financial needs like rent and income; participants conceptualize their income as their main form of wealth building and working harder as their best avenue for building more wealth; participants were wary of debt and loan products but, when faced with financial emergency, they resort to loans from family or friends or credit cards; and participants relied on children for financial support in retirement due to lack of savings. The report ends with policy solutions that could help build immediate financial security among Latinos while also facilitating wealth-building and economic mobility.

More On This Topic

Article 2024

Black wealth is increasing, but so is the racial wealth gap

By Andre M. Perry, Hannah Stephens and Manann Donoghoe

ReadBlack wealth is increasing, but so is the racial wealth gap on Brookings
Report 2024

Racial Wealth Gains and Gaps: Nine Facts About the Disparities

By Kristen Broady, Anthony Barr, Darlene Booth-Bell, and Lucas Cain

ReadRacial Wealth Gains and Gaps: Nine Facts About the Disparities on Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Article 2024

Racial and Ethnic Wealth Inequality in the Post‑Pandemic Era

By By Rajashri Chakrabarti, Natalia Emanuel, and Ben Lahey

ReadRacial and Ethnic Wealth Inequality in the Post‑Pandemic Era on Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Article 2024

Wealth Inequality by Age in the Post‑Pandemic Era

By Rajashri Chakrabarti, Natalia Emanuel, and Ben Lahey

ReadWealth Inequality by Age in the Post‑Pandemic Era on Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Journal Article 2024

The Rising Importance of Stock-Linked Assets in the Black-White Wealth Gap

By Ken-Hou Lin and Guillermo Dominguez

ReadThe Rising Importance of Stock-Linked Assets in the Black-White Wealth Gap on Demography
Video 2023

Racial Wealth Equity Research and Conversation Series: Baby Bonds

By Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Erick Russell, Alayna Van Tassel, Kelly Harrington

ReadRacial Wealth Equity Research and Conversation Series: Baby Bonds on Boston Indicators
Article 2023

Recent Evolution of Retirement Readiness for Blacks and Hispanics

By Edward N. Wolff, as reported by Abby Hiller

ReadRecent Evolution of Retirement Readiness for Blacks and Hispanics on National Bureau of Academic Research
Article 2023

Greater Wealth, Greater Uncertainty: Changes in Racial Inequality in the Survey of Consumer Finances

By Aditya Aladangady, Andrew C. Chang, and Jacob Krimmel, with Eva Ma

ReadGreater Wealth, Greater Uncertainty: Changes in Racial Inequality in the Survey of Consumer Finances on Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Video 2023

Racial Wealth Equity Research and Conversation Series: Education, Retirement, and Inheritances

By Des Allen, Jeffrey P. Thompson, Luc Schuster

ReadRacial Wealth Equity Research and Conversation Series: Education, Retirement, and Inheritances on Boston Indicators, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Report 2023

Understanding Latino wealth to address disparities and design better policies

By Tonantzin Carmona

ReadUnderstanding Latino wealth to address disparities and design better policies on Brookings
Report 2023

Racial Wealth Equity Chartbook: National Trends and the Challenge of Local Data

By Eunjung Jee, Tatjana Meschede, Sylvia Stewart, Peter Ciurczak and Luc Schuster

ReadRacial Wealth Equity Chartbook: National Trends and the Challenge of Local Data on Brandeis IERE, Boston Indicators
Report 2023

The Importance of Wealth to Family Well-Being: Seeding Innovation to Address the Structural Roots of Inequality

By Alexis Mann, Sara Chaganti

ReadThe Importance of Wealth to Family Well-Being: Seeding Innovation to Address the Structural Roots of Inequality on John T. Gorman Foundation, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
2022

Trends in the Distribution of Family Wealth, 1989-2019

ReadTrends in the Distribution of Family Wealth, 1989-2019 on Congressional Budget Office
2022

The Geographic Distribution of Extreme Wealth in the U.S.

By Carl Davis, Emma Sifre, Spandan Marasini

ReadThe Geographic Distribution of Extreme Wealth in the U.S. on Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
Article 2022

Data from a Native CDFI yield new insights on wealth gap in Indian Country

By D.L. Feir, Elijah Moreno, Lakota Vogel

ReadData from a Native CDFI yield new insights on wealth gap in Indian Country on Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank
Report 2022

Stuck on the Ladder: Intragenerational wealth mobility in the United States

ReadStuck on the Ladder: Intragenerational wealth mobility in the United States on Brookings
Research Paper 2022

Racial Wealth Disparities: Reconsidering the Roles of Human Capital and Inheritance

By Boston Fed, Jeffrey Thompson, John Sabelhaus

ReadRacial Wealth Disparities: Reconsidering the Roles of Human Capital and Inheritance on Boston Fed
Research Paper 2022

Wealth of Two Nations: The U.S. Racial Wealth Gap, 1860-2020

By Ellora Derenoncourt, Chi Hyun Kim, Moritz Kuhn & Moritz Schularick

ReadWealth of Two Nations: The U.S. Racial Wealth Gap, 1860-2020 on UC Berkeley, DIW Berlin, University of Bonn
Report 2020

Disparities in Wealth by Race and Ethnicity in the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances

By Neil Bhutta, Andrew C. Change, Lisa J. Dettling

ReadDisparities in Wealth by Race and Ethnicity in the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances on Board of Governors of the Federal Researve System
Video 2020

Explained | Racial Wealth Gap

ReadExplained | Racial Wealth Gap on Vox, Netlfix
2020

The Racial Wealth Gap Is About the Upper Classes

By Matt Bruenig

ReadThe Racial Wealth Gap Is About the Upper Classes on People's Policy Project
Report 2019

The economic impact of closing the racial wealth gap

ReadThe economic impact of closing the racial wealth gap on McKinsey & Company
Book 2019

The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap

By Mehrsa Baradan

ReadThe Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap on Harvard University Press
Report 2018

Systematic Inequality: How America’s Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap

By Angela Hanks, Danyelle Solomon, Christian E. Wellter

ReadSystematic Inequality: How America’s Structural Racism Helped Create the Black-White Wealth Gap on Center for American Progress
Report 2018

Income and Wealth Inequality in America, 1949-2016

By Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick, Ulrike I. Steins

ReadIncome and Wealth Inequality in America, 1949-2016 on Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, University of Bonn
Report 2016

Wealth Inequalities in Greater Boston: Do Race and Ethnicity Matter?

By Tatjana Meschede, Darrick Hamilton, Ana Patricia Munoz, Regine O. Jackson, William A Darity Jr

ReadWealth Inequalities in Greater Boston: Do Race and Ethnicity Matter? on Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Report 2015

Reducing Racial Wealth Inequalities in Greater Boston: Building a Shared Agenda

By David Bryant, Ginger Haggerty, Cynthia Parker, Mimi Turchinetz, and Ester Schlorholtz

ReadReducing Racial Wealth Inequalities in Greater Boston: Building a Shared Agenda on Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Report 2015

The Color of Wealth in Boston

By Ana Patricia Muñoz , Marlene Kim, Mariko Chang, Regine O. Jackson, Darrick Hamilton, and William A. Darity Jr.

ReadThe Color of Wealth in Boston on The Color of Wealth in Boston, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (A Joint Publication with Duke University and The New School)
Report 2015

Bootstraps Are For Black Kids: Race, Wealth and the Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Adult Outcomes

By Dr. Yunju Nam, Dr. Darrick Hamilton, Dr. William A. Darrity, Jr., Anne E. Price

ReadBootstraps Are For Black Kids: Race, Wealth and the Impact of Intergenerational Transfers on Adult Outcomes on National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color, Insight Center for Community Economic Development
Report 2015

The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters

By Laura Sullivan Tatjana Meschede, Lars Dietrich, Thomas Shapiro (IASP), Amy Traugh, Catherine Ruetchslin, Tamara Draut, (Demos)

ReadThe Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters on Demos, Institute for Assets and Social Policy, Brandeis University
Report 2013

Less Than Equal, Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation

By Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Eugene Steverle, Sisi Zhang

ReadLess Than Equal, Racial Disparities in Wealth Accumulation on Urban
Report 2013

The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black and White Income Divide

By Thomas Shapiro, Tatjana Meschede, Sam Osoro

ReadThe Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black and White Income Divide on Institute for Economic and Racial Equity, neé IASP
Report 2012

Do Financial Support and Inheritance Contribute to the Racial Wealth Gap

By Signe-Mary McKernan, Caroline Ratcliffe, Margaret Simms, Sisi Zhang

ReadDo Financial Support and Inheritance Contribute to the Racial Wealth Gap on Urban
Book 1995

Black Wealth/ White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality

By Tom Shapiro, Oliver L Melvin

ReadBlack Wealth/ White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality on Amazon