LEARNING AREA: Economic Development, Racial Equity

The Asset Value of Whiteness: Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap


Dēmos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy




The Institute for Assets & Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Demos released a new report that explores popular explanations for the racial wealth gap between African-American, Latino, and white households. The report demonstrates that changing individual behavior in areas such as education, family structure, full- or part-time employment, and personal consumption habits would not reverse the economic harm done by structural racism. The investigation highlights that the ongoing structural barriers to wealth equality in the U.S. cannot be combated at the individual or household level. Instead, public policy is needed to eliminate racial wealth disparities.