As the United States rapidly becomes both a more diverse and unequal nation, policymakers face the urgent challenge of confronting growing wealth gaps by race and ethnicity. In The Racial Wealth Gap: Why Policy Matters, Demos and the Institute on Assets and Social Policy provide a systematic analysis of the types of public policies that offer the most potential for reducing the racial wealth gap.
The paper pioneers a new tool, the Racial Wealth Audit™, and uses it to evaluate the impact of housing, education, and labor markets on the wealth gap between white, Black, and Latino households and assesses how far policies that equalize outcomes in these areas could go toward reducing the gap. Drawing on data from the nationally representative Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) collected in 2011, the analysis tests how current racial disparities in wealth would be projected to change if key contributing factors to the racial wealth gap were equalized.
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