Funded on June 1, 2023

While recently much attention has been given to the racial wealth gap, little systematic research exists on the relative effectiveness of proposals to eliminate the gap. Frequent claims regarding potential solutions have been made, including cancellation of student debt and “baby bonds” (a publicly funded child trust account). Rarely are those claims supported by data and analysis. In preliminary studies, PI, William Darity (2019) found that the impact of complete student loan relief and an infant trust account accessible in young adulthood fell far short of addressing the issue. Thus far, there has been no comprehensive, evidence-based examination of the full array of policies advanced as mechanisms for closing the racial wealth gap.

This project will analyze the comparative impact of universal, direct, and indirect policies and programs designed to address the Black-white wealth gap in the United States. The research team will evaluate which policy or set of policies are most effective in addressing the Black-white wealth gap.

The research team will lead a study to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the leading universal, indirect, and direct policies, policy proposals, and programs to address the Black-white wealth gap?
  2. What is the most effective universal, indirect, and direct program, policy, or combination of programs and policies for closing the racial wealth gap?

The study will be the first comprehensive comparative study of policies and programs proposed to close the black-white wealth gap. The results of this study will help inform policymakers interested in this policy goal.