Racial disparity, intergenerational transfers, wealth, stratification


We examine the roles of parental financial assistance to young adult children for college, homeownership, and “other reasons” in explaining the Black-White wealth gap. Using Panel Study of Income Dynamics data, we run Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions. Results show that the socioeconomic position of Black parents, not their proclivity to give, explains lower receipt of parental assistance for Black adult children—especially in the form of assistance for college and homeownership, which in turn, translates into the intergenerational reproduction of the racial wealth gap. Accordingly, policies should focus on equalizing resource endowments for adult children across racial lines. The findings support a structural/stratification frame.

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