New report shows racial wealth gap is structural, fueled by public policy

The City Coordinator’s Office of Equity and Inclusion has posted a new report that explores popular explanations for the racial wealth gap among African-American, Latino and white households. The report from Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University's Heller School for Social Policy and Management demonstrates that changing individual behavior in areas such as education, family structure, full- or part-time employment, and personal consumption habits would not reverse economic harm done by structural racism. 

The report finds that similar achievements for whites and households of color do not lead to similar rewards in terms of wealth. Though attending college, getting married and working full time are all associated with more wealth for each group, the asset value for these experiences is found in the analysis to be substantially greater for white households than for black and Latino families. The investigation highlights that the ongoing structural barriers to wealth equality in the United States cannot be combated at the individual or household level. Instead, public policy is needed to eliminate racial wealth disparities.

Read the report posted on the home page of the City Coordinator’s Office of Equity and Inclusion SharePoint site.

Published Feb 8, 2017

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