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Reparations and Persistent Racial Wealth Gaps
Reparations is a policy proposal aiming to address the wealth gap between Black and White households. We provide a first formal analysis of the economics of reparations using a long-run model of heterogeneous dynasties with an occupational choice and bequests. Our innovation is to introduce endogenous dispersion of beliefs about risky returns, reflecting differences in dynasties' experiences with entrepreneurship over time. Feeding the exclusion of Black dynasties from labor and capital markets as driving force, the model quantitatively reproduces current and historical racial gaps in wealth, ...