Cook Center Collaborators Publish Paper on Growing U.S. Racial Wealth Gap

Three collaborators at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center for Social Equity at Duke University have published a new paper showing that the modern racial wealth gap is in fact growing, in large part because of the cumulative impact of the country’s racial history, and intergenerational transfers of wealth from older generations to younger ones.

“When it comes to wealth inequality, a rising tide lifted all boats … inequitably,” said lead author Fenaba R. Addo, associate professor of public policy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a Cook Center faculty affiliate. “Black-white wealth inequality persists, and it has expanded with the onset of the pandemic.”

The study, “Setting the Record Straight on Racial Wealth Inequality,” appeared in the May 2024 edition of AEA Papers and Proceedings and is available online. Also co-authoring the paper were William A. Darity Jr., the Cook Center’s founding director and a professor of public policy, African and African American Studies and economics at Duke, and Samuel L. Myers Jr., a Cook Center distinguished fellow and the director of the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.

Read more about the article on Duke’s website here.