A More Comprehensive Measure of the Black-White Wealth Gap

Abstract: In this article, we apply a simple graphical device — the plot of the relative rank distribution — to summarize the Black-White wealth gap. We also introduce the relative rank Gini coefficient — an analog to the standard Gini coefficient — as a summary measure of rank inequality. We find that the rank wealth gap is widest in the middle of the wealth distribution. Black-White rank wealth gaps are higher among college graduates than among other education groups. Households with young or retired heads have higher rank gaps than middle-aged households. We caution that rank gaps are not necessarily informative about gaps in levels.

Keywords: wealth-gap; African-American Income; wealth distribution; education; Gini Coefficient; relative rank distribution;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Part of Series: Richmond Fed Economic Brief

Publication Date: 2022-05

Volume: 22

Issue: 17