What explains the long-term persistence of Black-White racial inequality in the United States? This dissertation seeks to answer this question by exploring how social context perpetuates racial wealth inequality. Black-White household wealth differentials consistently dwarf other outcome gaps, household wealth is a key factor in determining the social outcomes of individuals, and social context, broadly defined, consistently exerts a strong influence on social outcomes. This dissertation integrates these three insights into an examination of the Black-White wealth gap. The first chapter uses the Panel Study of Income Dynamics data set to explore how the total household wealth of the extended family network correlates with the household wealth accumulation of individuals, and tests for racial differences therein. Quantile regression analysis finds important racial differences in the accumulation of financial assets at the top of the wealth distribution. The second chapter combines household-level data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation with city-level data from various sources in order to explore how neighborhood social characteristics influence the ability of households to accumulate wealth. The social and economic characteristics of neighborhoods are found to exacerbate wealth inequality. The third chapter proposes a two-tiered model of wealth accumulation based on the empirical regularities established in the first two chapters. The proposed model of wealth accumulation combines threshold effects with network externalities to explain how the historical social isolation of Blacks in the United States has perpetuated the Black-White wealth gap and perpetuated Black-White differentials in social outcomes.
|Commitee:||Berik, Gunseli, Myers, Ella, Sjoberg, Eric, Waitzman, Norman|
|School:||The University of Utah|
|School Location:||United States -- Utah|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Black, Economics, Inequality, Race, Social, Wealth|
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