Intergenerational Economic Mobility and the Racial Wealth Gap

Resource Type
  • Toney, Jermaine (Rutgers University)
  • Robertson, Cassandra (New America)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Russell Sage Foundation
    • Award Number: 1911-18835
  • Abstract

    A growing body of research documents the importance of wealth and the racial wealth gap in perpetuating inequality across generations. We add to this literature by examining the impact of wealth on child income by race, while also extending our analysis to three generations. Our two stage least squares regressions reveal that grandparental and parental wealth and the younger generation’s household income is strongly positively correlated. We further explore the relationship between income and wealth by decomposing the child’s income by race. We find that the disparity in income between black and white respondents is mainly attributable to differences in family background. In context, differences in family background are stronger than differences in educational attainment. When we examine different income percentiles, however, we find that the effect of grandparental and parental wealth endowment is much stronger at the top of the income distribution. These findings indicate that wealth is an important source of income inequality.
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E130341V1

Update Metadata: 2021-01-06 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2021-01-06