By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The wealth gap between white and African-American households almost tripled within the past 25 years according to a study released on Wednesday by Brandeis University.
The study, (PDF) conducted by the university’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy, tracked 1,700 working-age households between 1984 and 2009 and concluded that the disparity between white and black families went from $85,000 to $236,500 during that period.
According to the study, there was “little evidence” that commonly-held perceptions about personal choices and behaviors held true when it came to measuring the ability to accumulate wealth.
“In my estimation, policies and institutional practices are the main story,” said the institute’s director, Tom Shapiro, who was the principal author of the report, during an online seminar on Wednesday.
Instead, the study pointed to what researchers described as “the configuration of both opportunities and barriers in workplaces, schools, and communities that reinforce deeply entrenched racial dynamics in how wealth is accumulated and that continue to permeate the most important spheres of everyday life.”