The Color of Wealth in Boston

40 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2015 Last revised: 13 Aug 2015

Ana Patricia Munoz

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Marlene Kim

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics

Mariko Chang

Independent

Regine Jackson

Agnes Scott College

Darrick Hamilton

The New School - Department of Economics

William A. Darity

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics; Duke University - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 26, 2015

Abstract

The widening wealth gap in the United States is a worrisome sign that millions of families nationwide do not have enough in assets to offer better opportunities for future generations. Wealth allows families to make investments in homes, in education, and in business creation. On the basis of data collected using the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey, we report that, when analyzed by race, wealth accumulation is vastly unequal. By means of the NASCC survey, researchers have collected, for the first time, detailed data on assets and debts among subpopulations, according to race, ethnicity, and country of origin — granular detail ordinarily unavailable in public datasets. In this analysis we focus on estimates for U.S. born blacks, Caribbean blacks, Cape Verdeans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans in the Boston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Our analysis shows that with respect to types and size of assets and debt held, the data collected on white households and nonwhite households exhibit large differences. The result is that the net worth of whites as compared with nonwhites is staggeringly divergent.

Keywords: racial gap, racial inequality, wealth gap, wealth inequality, net worth, asset poor, Boston, nonwhite, Hispanic, assets, debts, black, caribbean black

Suggested Citation

Munoz, Ana Patricia and Kim, Marlene and Chang, Mariko and Jackson, Regine and Hamilton, Darrick and Darity, William A., The Color of Wealth in Boston (March 26, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2630261 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2630261

Ana Patricia Munoz (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston ( email )

600 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210
United States

Marlene Kim

University of Massachusetts Boston - Department of Economics ( email )

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
617-287-6954 (Phone)
617-287-6976 (Fax)

Mariko Chang

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Regine Jackson

Agnes Scott College ( email )

141 E. College Ave
Decatur, GA 30030
United States

Darrick Hamilton

The New School - Department of Economics ( email )

65 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
United States

William A. Darity

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Economics ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
919-966-5392 (Phone)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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