Multigenerational Relationships and Economic Resources Among Black and White Families in the US
About the Presentation
The family is an important social institution that transmits both economic advantage and disadvantage, and can serve as a safety net for individuals experiencing economic instability. The “family” increasingly includes not only nuclear kin but also multigenerational family ties. Large racial differences in fertility, mortality, and marriage combined with racial differences in economic resources and financial instability imply that the multigenerational family safety net differs considerably between Black and White families. This paper uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the differences in the structure and economic resources of multigenerational families between Blacks and Whites. We find similarity in the number of vertical ties across generations between Blacks and Whites. However, we find substantial differences in economic resources, even among multigenerational families. We find especially large race gaps in more permanent measures of economic advantage such as educational attainment and home ownership.
About the Speaker
Emily Wiemers's work focuses on intergenerational transfers and family exchange across the life course. She is currently working on a project funded by the National Institute on Aging to collect and analyze new data on family ties and transfers in the 2013 Panel Study of Income Dynamics. She has received a Sloan Foundation Research Grant to study the effect of transfers to multiple generations on labor supply. She is also involved in a new data collection project funded by the National Institute on Aging, which interviews the parents of respondents to the Add Health Study. She has recently begun work funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth with co-principal investigator Michael Carr to examine earnings dynamics across the earnings distribution.