The Racial Awareness Project

Raising awareness of the current areas of racial disparity and systemic racism in the United States

Criminal Justice

  • Defendants using Florida's "Stand Your Ground" legislation are twice as likely to be convicted if the victim is White vs. non-White.

    Defendants using Florida's "Stand Your Ground" legislation are twice as likely to be convicted if the victim is White vs. non-White.

    Author: Nicole Ackermann Melody S.Goodman Keon Gilbert Cassandra Arroyo-Johnson Marcello Pagano
    Published: 2015 by Social Science & Medicine
    Abstract: Previous analyses of Stand Your Ground (SYG) cases have been primarily descriptive. We examine the relationship between race of the victim and conviction of the defendant in SYG cases in Florida from 2005 to 2013. Using a regression analytic approach, we allow for simultaneous examination of multiple factors to better understand existing interrelationships. Data was obtained from the Tampa Bay Times SYG database (237 cases) which was supplemented with available online court documents and/or news reports. After excluding cases which were, still pending as of January 2015; had multiple outcomes (because of multiple suspects); and missing information on race of victim and weapon of victim, our final analytic sample has 204 cases. We chose whether the case resulted in a conviction as the outcome. We develop logistic regression models using significant bivariate predictors as candidates. These include race of the victim (White, non-White), whether the defendant could have retreated from the situation, whether the defendant pursued the victim, if the victim was unarmed, and who was the initiator of the confrontation. We find race of the victim to be a significant predictor of case outcome in this data set. After controlling for other variables, the defendant is two times (OR = 2.1, 95% CI [1.07, 4.10]) more likely to be convicted in a case that involves White victims compared to those involving non-White victims. Our results depict a disturbing message: SYG legislation in Florida has a quantifiable racial bias that reveals a leniency in convictions if the victim is non-White, which provides evidence towards unequal treatment under the law. Rather than attempting to hide the outcomes of these laws, as was done in Florida, other states with SYG laws should carry out similar analyses to see if their manifestations are the same as those in Florida, and all should remediate any injustices found.

  • While only 13% of the population, Blacks make up the majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated.

    While only 13% of the population, Blacks make up the majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated.

    Author: Samuel R. Gross, Maurice Possley, Klara Stephens
    Published: 2017 by National Registry of Exonerations
    Abstract: African Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in “group exonerations.” We see this racial disparity for all major crime categories, but we examine it in this report in the context of the three types of crime that produce the largest numbers of exonerations in the Registry: murder, sexual assault, and drug crimes.

  • Police officers search the vehicles of non-White drivers more frequently than White drivers.

    Police officers search the vehicles of non-White drivers more frequently than White drivers.

    Author: Stephen Rushin and Griffin Sims Edwards
    Published: 2020 by SSRN
    Abstract: This Article empirically illustrates that legal doctrines permitting police officers to engage in pretextual traffic stops may contribute to a statistically significant increase in racial profiling. In 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Whren v. United States that pretextual traffic stops do not violate the Fourth Amendment. As long as police officers identify an objective violation of a traffic law, they may lawfully stop a motorist—even if their actual intention is to use the stop to investigate a hunch that by itself does not amount to probable cause or reasonable suspicion. Scholars and civil rights activists have widely criticized Whren, arguing that it gives police officers permission to engage in racial profiling. But social scientists have historically struggled to develop an empirical methodology to evaluate how Whren influenced police behavior. The State of Washington presents a unique opportunity to test the effects of pretextual stop doctrines on police behavior. In the years since the Whren decision, Washington has experimented with multiple rules that provide differing levels of protection against pretextual stops. In 1999, the Washington Supreme Court held in State v. Ladson that their state constitution barred police from conducting pretextual traffic stops. Then in 2012, the court eased this restriction on pretextual stops in State v. Arreola. By relying on a comprehensive dataset of 8,257,527 traffic stops conducted by the Washington State Patrol from 2008 through 2015, we find that the Arreola decision is associated with a statistically significant increase in traffic stops of non-white drivers relative to white drivers. Further, we find this increase in traffic stops of non-white drivers concentrated during daytime hours, when officers can more easily ascertain a driver’s race through visual observation. We also find evidence that police officers search the vehicles of non-white drivers more frequently than white drivers after Arreola. Combined, this data provides compelling evidence that judicial decisions like Whren and Arreola may increase the probability of racial profiling by police officers. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for the literature on police accountability.

  • Minorities are less likely to receive a discount on their speeding tickets than white drivers.

    Minorities are less likely to receive a discount on their speeding tickets than white drivers.

    Author: Felipe Goncalves and Steven Mello
    Published: 2020 by SSRN
    Abstract: We estimate the degree to which individual police officers practice racial discrimination. Using a bunching estimation design and data from the Florida Highway Patrol, we show that minorities are less likely to receive a discount on their speeding tickets than white drivers. Disaggregating this difference to the individual police officer, we find that 40% of officers explain all of the aggregate discrimination. We then apply our officer- level discrimination measures to various policy-relevant questions in the literature. In particular, reassigning officers across locations based on their lenience can effectively reduce the aggregate disparity in treatment.
    Quote: Using a difference-in-differences framework, we then find that white drivers differentially benefit from being stopped by a lenient officer. White drivers stopped by lenient officers are six percentage points more likely to be discounted than minority drivers off a base of 45%. This gain stems from the fact that minorities are treated less leniently when stopped for speeds ranging from 10 to 23 MPH over the limit.

  • Prosecutors are almost twice as likely to file charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences against Blacks than against Whites.

    Prosecutors are almost twice as likely to file charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences against Blacks than against Whites.

    Author: M. Marit Rehavi and Sonja B. Starr
    Published: 2012 by U of Michigan Law & Econ, Empirical Legal Studies Center
    Abstract: Using rich data linking federal cases from arrest through sentencing, we assess the contribution of prosecutors' initial charging decisions to large observed blackwhite disparities in sentence length. Pre-charge characteristics, including arrest offense and criminal history, can explain about 80% of these disparities, but substantial gaps remain across the distribution. On average, blacks receive almost 10% longer sentences than comparable whites arrested for the same crimes. At least half this gap can be explained by initial charging choices, particularly the filing of charges carrying mandatory minimum sentences. Prosecutors are, ceteris paribus, almost twice as likely to file such charges against blacks.

  • Nationwide, police require less suspicion to search Black and Hispanic drivers than White drivers.

    Nationwide, police require less suspicion to search Black and Hispanic drivers than White drivers.

    Author: Emma Pierson, Camelia Simoiu, Jan Overgoor, Sam Corbett-Davies, Daniel Jenson, Amy Shoemaker , Vignesh Ramachandran, Phoebe Barghouty
    Published: 2020 by Nature Human Behaviour
    Abstract: We assessed racial disparities in policing in the United States by compiling and analysing a dataset detailing nearly 100 million traffic stops conducted across the country. We found that black drivers were less likely to be stopped after sunset, when a ‘veil of darkness’ masks one’s race, suggesting bias in stop decisions. Furthermore, by examining the rate at which stopped drivers were searched and the likelihood that searches turned up contraband, we found evidence that the bar for searching black and Hispanic drivers was lower than that for searching white drivers. Finally, we found that legalization of recreational marijuana reduced the number of searches of white, black and Hispanic drivers—but the bar for searching black and Hispanic drivers was still lower than that for white drivers post-legalization. Our results indicate that police stops and search decisions suffer from persistent racial bias and point to the value of policy interventions to mitigate these disparities.

  • Though no more likely to use drugs, Black men are incarcerated at a rate 13 times higher than White men for drug charges.

    Though no more likely to use drugs, Black men are incarcerated at a rate 13 times higher than White men for drug charges.

    Author: Lisa D. Moore, DrPH and Amy Elkavich, BA
    Abstract: N/A
    Quote: Persons of color compose 60% of the incarcerated population.In 1996, Blacks constituted 62.6% of drug offenders in state prisons. Nationwide, the rate of persons admitted to prison on drug charges for Black men is 13 times that for White men, and in 10 states, the rates are 26 to 57 times those for White men. People of color are not more likely to do drugs; Black men do not have an abnormal predilection for intoxication. They are, however, more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for their use.

    Education

    • Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students are 2-5 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than White and Asian American students.

      Black, Hispanic, and American Indian students are 2-5 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than White and Asian American students.

      Author: John M. Wallace, Jr., Ph.D., Sara Goodkind, Ph.D., Cynthia M. Wallace, and Jerald G. Bachman
      Published: 2008 by The Negro Educational Review
      Abstract: The present study uses large nationally representative samples of White, Black, Hispanic, Asian American, and American Indian students to examine current patterns and recent trends (1991 to 2005) in racial, ethnic, and gender differences in school discipline. We found that Black, Hispanic, and American Indian youth are slightly more likely than White and Asian American youth to be sent to the office and substantially (two to five times) more likely to be suspended or expelled. Although school discipline rates decreased over time for most ethnic groups, among Black students school discipline rates increased between 1991 and 2005. Logistic regression analyses that controlled for racial and ethnic differences in socio-demographic factors suggest racial and ethnic differences in school discipline do not result from racial and ethnic differences in socioeconomic status. Future research and practice efforts should seek to better understand and to eliminate racial, ethnic and gender disproportionality in school discipline.

    • Nationally, predominantly White school districts get $23 billion more than their nonwhite peers, despite serving a similar number of children.

      Nationally, predominantly White school districts get $23 billion more than their nonwhite peers, despite serving a similar number of children.

      Study: $23 Billion
      Author: EdBuild Staff
      Published: 2018 by EdBuild
      Abstract: The inherent links between race and class in our country haven’t been remedied by school-funding lawsuits nor the passage of time. They remain ever present, and while we have made some progress on the issue of economic inequality in our schools, we still have a terribly inequitable system. For students of color, the problem is even worse. The concentration of low-wealth communities into partitioned communities is even more pronounced for communities of color due to the history of racial segregation in our country, both formal and informal. The ability of local districts to raise revenue for their schools is thus undermined. And political power in the state capitol is diffused and diminished, because there are six times more white districts representing their interests in state capitols than nonwhite districts. The end result is fewer local resources and less state aid to compensate for it. And so, fifty years after Serrano v Priest, and despite decades of lawsuits throughout the country, there remains a $23 billion gap between white and nonwhite school districts, even though they serve the same number of children.

    • Given the same CV (resume), Black and Latinx candidates are viewed as less competent and hirable than White and Asian candidates for STEM-field post-doctoral programs.

      Given the same CV (resume), Black and Latinx candidates are viewed as less competent and hirable than White and Asian candidates for STEM-field post-doctoral programs.

      Author:
      Published: by
      Abstract: The current study examines how intersecting stereotypes about gender and race influence faculty perceptions of post-doctoral candidates in STEM fields in the United States. Using a fully-crossed, between-subjects experimental design, biology and physics professors (n = 251) from eight large, public, U.S. research universities were asked to read one of eight identical curriculum vitae (CVs) depicting a hypothetical doctoral graduate applying for a post-doctoral position in their field, and rate them for competence, hireability, and likeability. The candidate’s name on the CV was used to manipulate race (Asian, Black, Latinx, and White) and gender (female or male), with all other aspects of the CV held constant across conditions. Faculty in physics exhibited a gender bias favoring the male candidates as more competent and more hirable than the otherwise identical female candidates. Further, physics faculty rated Asian and White candidates as more competent and hirable than Black and Latinx candidates, while those in biology rated Asian candidates as more competent and hirable than Black candidates, and as more hireable than Latinx candidates. An interaction between candidate gender and race emerged for those in physics, whereby Black women and Latinx women and men candidates were rated the lowest in hireability compared to all others. Women were rated more likeable than men candidates across departments. Our results highlight how understanding the underrepresentation of women and racial minorities in STEM requires examining both racial and gender biases as well as how they intersect.

    • Black students are referred to gifted programs at lower rates when taught by non-Black teachers.

      Black students are referred to gifted programs at lower rates when taught by non-Black teachers.

      Author: Jason A. Grissom, Christopher Redding
      Abstract: Students of color are underrepresented in gifted programs relative to White students, but the reasons for this underrepresentation are poorly understood. We investigate the predictors of gifted assignment using nationally representative, longitudinal data on elementary students. We document that even among students with high standardized test scores, Black students are less likely to be assigned to gifted services in both math and reading, a pattern that persists when controlling for other background factors, such as health and socioeconomic status, and characteristics of classrooms and schools. We then investigate the role of teacher discretion, leveraging research from political science suggesting that clients of government services from traditionally underrepresented groups benefit from diversity in the providers of those services, including teachers. Even after conditioning on test scores and other factors, Black students indeed are referred to gifted programs, particularly in reading, at significantly lower rates when taught by non-Black teachers, a concerning result given the relatively low incidence of assignment to own-race teachers among Black students.

    • Like most Americans, 77% of teachers hold pro-White/anti-Black implicit biases and 30% hold pro-White/anti-Black explicit biases

      Like most Americans, 77% of teachers hold pro-White/anti-Black implicit biases and 30% hold pro-White/anti-Black explicit biases

      Author: Jordan G. Starck, Travis Riddle, Stacey Sinclair, and Natasha Warikoo
      Abstract: Schools are heralded by some as unique sites for promoting racial equity. Central to this characterization is the presumption that teachers embrace racial equity and teaching about this topic. In contrast, others have documented the ongoing role of teachers in perpetuating racial inequality in schools. In this article, we employ data from two national data sets to investigate teachers’ explicit and implicit racial bias, comparing them to adults with similar characteristics. We find that both teachers and nonteachers hold pro-White explicit and implicit racial biases. Furthermore, differences between teachers and nonteachers were negligible or insignificant. The findings suggest that if schools are to effectively promote racial equity, teachers should be provided with training to either shift or mitigate the effects of their own racial biases.

    • Exposure to same-race teachers reduces willful defiance referrals for Black students of all grade levels.

      Exposure to same-race teachers reduces willful defiance referrals for Black students of all grade levels.

      Author: Constance A. Lindsay, Cassandra M. D. Hart
      Abstract: Using student-level administrative data from North Carolina, we explore whether exposure to same-race teachers affects the rate at which Black students receive exclusionary discipline, such as out-of-school suspensions, in-school suspensions, and expulsion. We find consistent evidence that exposure to same-race teachers is associated with reduced rates of exclusionary discipline for Black students. This relationship holds for elementary, middle, and high school grade ranges for male and female students, and for students who do and do not use free and reduced-price lunch. Although we find reductions in referrals for a number of different types of offenses, we find particularly consistent evidence that exposure to same-race teachers lowers office referrals for willful defiance across all grade levels, suggesting that teacher discretion plays a role in driving our results.

    • White teachers' lower expectations of Black students "magnifies black-white gaps in college completion".

      White teachers' lower expectations of Black students "magnifies black-white gaps in college completion".

      Author: Seth Gershenson
      Published: 2018 by Education Next
      Abstract: N/A
      Quote: Our analysis supports the conventional wisdom that teacher expectations matter. College completion rates are systematically higher for students whose teachers had higher expectations for them. More troublingly, we also find that white teachers, who comprise the vast majority of American educators, have far lower expectations for black students than they do for similarly situated white students. This evidence suggests that to raise student attainment, particularly among students of color, elevating teacher expectations, eliminating racial bias, and hiring a more diverse teaching force are worthy goals.

      Employment

      • Black job seekers are expected to negotiate less than Whites and are penalized with lower salaries for violating this expectation.

        Black job seekers are expected to negotiate less than Whites and are penalized with lower salaries for violating this expectation.

        Author: Hernandez, M., Avery, D. R., Volpone, S. D., & Kaiser, C. R.
        Abstract: The influence of race in negotiations has remained relatively underexplored. Across three studies, we theorize and find that Black job seekers are expected to negotiate less than their White counterparts and are penalized in negotiations with lower salary outcomes when this expectation is violated; especially when they negotiate with an evaluator who is more racially biased (i.e., higher in social dominance orientation). Specifically, on the basis of the prescriptive stereotype held by those higher in racial bias—that Black (as compared to White) negotiators deserve lower salaries—we predicted that Black negotiators who behave in counter stereotypical ways encounter greater resistance and more unfavorable outcomes from more biased evaluators. We tested this argument in a stepwise fashion: In Study 1, we found that more biased evaluators expect Black job seekers to negotiate less as compared to White job seekers. When Black negotiators violate those expectations, evaluators award them lower starting salaries (Study 2), which appears to occur because evaluators become more resistant to making concessions to Black than to White job seekers (Study 3). Collectively, our findings demonstrate that racially biased perceptual distortions can be used to justify the provision of smaller monetary awards for Black job seekers in negotiations.

      • Given the same CV (resume), Black and Latinx candidates are viewed as less competent and hirable than White and Asian candidates for STEM-field post-doctoral programs.

        Given the same CV (resume), Black and Latinx candidates are viewed as less competent and hirable than White and Asian candidates for STEM-field post-doctoral programs.

        Author:
        Published: by
        Abstract: The current study examines how intersecting stereotypes about gender and race influence faculty perceptions of post-doctoral candidates in STEM fields in the United States. Using a fully-crossed, between-subjects experimental design, biology and physics professors (n = 251) from eight large, public, U.S. research universities were asked to read one of eight identical curriculum vitae (CVs) depicting a hypothetical doctoral graduate applying for a post-doctoral position in their field, and rate them for competence, hireability, and likeability. The candidate’s name on the CV was used to manipulate race (Asian, Black, Latinx, and White) and gender (female or male), with all other aspects of the CV held constant across conditions. Faculty in physics exhibited a gender bias favoring the male candidates as more competent and more hirable than the otherwise identical female candidates. Further, physics faculty rated Asian and White candidates as more competent and hirable than Black and Latinx candidates, while those in biology rated Asian candidates as more competent and hirable than Black candidates, and as more hireable than Latinx candidates. An interaction between candidate gender and race emerged for those in physics, whereby Black women and Latinx women and men candidates were rated the lowest in hireability compared to all others. Women were rated more likeable than men candidates across departments. Our results highlight how understanding the underrepresentation of women and racial minorities in STEM requires examining both racial and gender biases as well as how they intersect.

      • White job applicants receive 36% more callbacks than equally qualified Blacks, a rate that has been steady since 1989.

        White job applicants receive 36% more callbacks than equally qualified Blacks, a rate that has been steady since 1989.

        Author: Lincoln Quillian, Devah Pager, Ole Hexel, and Arnfinn H. Midtbøen
        Abstract: This study investigates change over time in the level of hiring discrimination in US labor markets. We perform a meta-analysis of every available field experiment of hiring discrimination against African Americans or Latinos (n = 28). Together, these studies represent 55,842 applications submitted for 26,326 positions. We focus on trends since 1989 (n = 24 studies), when field experiments became more common and improved methodologically. Since 1989, whites receive on average 36% more callbacks than African Americans, and 24% more callbacks than Latinos. We observe no change in the level of hiring discrimination against African Americans over the past 25 years, although we find modest evidence of a decline in discrimination against Latinos. Accounting for applicant education, applicant gender, study method, occupational groups, and local labor market conditions does little to alter this result. Contrary to claims of declining discrimination in American society, our estimates suggest that levels of discrimination remain largely unchanged, at least at the point of hire.

      • Even graduates from Harvard, Stanford, and Duke experience racial discrimination in hiring.

        Even graduates from Harvard, Stanford, and Duke experience racial discrimination in hiring.

        Author: S. Michael Gaddis
        Published: 2014 by Oxford University Press
        Abstract: Racial inequality in economic outcomes, particularly among the college educated, persists throughout US society. Scholars debate whether this inequality stems from racial differences in human capital (e.g., college selectivity, GPA, college major) or employer discrimination against black job candidates. However, limited measures of human capital and the inherent difficulties in measuring discrimination using observational data make determining the cause of racial differences in labor-market outcomes a difficult endeavor. In this research, I examine employment opportunities for white and black graduates of elite top-ranked universities versus high-ranked but less selective institutions. Using an audit design, I create matched candidate pairs and apply for 1,008 jobs on a national job-search website. I also exploit existing birth-record data in selecting names to control for differences across social class within racialized names. The results show that although a credential from an elite university results in more employer responses for all candidates, black candidates from elite universities only do as well as white candidates from less selective universities. Moreover, race results in a double penalty: When employers respond to black candidates, it is for jobs with lower starting salaries and lower prestige than those of white peers. These racial differences suggest that a bachelor’s degree, even one from an elite institution, cannot fully counteract the importance of race in the labor market. Thus, both discrimination and differences in human capital contribute to racial economic inequality.

        Environmental

        • Average pollution exposure for poor minorities is 29% higher than for non-poor whites.

          Average pollution exposure for poor minorities is 29% higher than for non-poor whites.

          Author: Klara Zwickl, Michael Ash, James K. Boyce
          Abstract: This paper analyzes how racial and ethnic disparities in exposure to industrial air toxics in U.S. cities vary with neighborhood income, and how these disparities vary regionally across the country. Exposure is estimated at the census block-group level using geographic microdata from the Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We find that racial and ethnic disparities in pollution exposure are strongest among neighborhoods with median incomes below $25,000, while income-based disparities are stronger among neighborhoods with median incomes above that level. We also find considerable differences in the patterns of disparity across the ten EPA regions. In the two regions with the highest median exposure (the Midwest and South Central regions), for example, African-Americans and Hispanics face significantly higher exposures than whites, whereas in the region with the next highest exposure (the Mid-Atlantic), the reverse is true. We show that the latter result is attributable to intercity variations — minorities tend to live in the less polluted cities in the region — rather than to within-city variations.

        • Blacks are more likely to live near a particulate matter-emitting facility than Whites, (other) non-Whites, Hispanics, and those in poverty.

          Blacks are more likely to live near a particulate matter-emitting facility than Whites, (other) non-Whites, Hispanics, and those in poverty.

          Author: Ihab Mikati, Adam F. Benson, Thomas J. Luben, Jason D. Sacks, and Jennifer Richmond-Bryant
          Abstract: Objectives. To quantify nationwide disparities in the location of particulate matter (PM)-emitting facilities by the characteristics of the surrounding residential population and to illustrate various spatial scales at which to consider such disparities. Methods. We assigned facilities emitting PM in the 2011 National Emissions Inventory to nearby block groups across the 2009 to 2013 American Community Survey population. We calculated the burden from these emissions for racial/ethnic groups and by poverty status. We quantified disparities nationally and for each state and county in the country. Results. For PM of 2.5 micrometers in diameter or less, those in poverty had 1.35 times higher burden than did the overall population, and non-Whites had 1.28 times higher burden. Blacks, specifically, had 1.54 times higher burden than did the overall population. These patterns were relatively unaffected by sensitivity analyses, and disparities held not only nationally but within most states and counties as well. Conclusions. Disparities in burden from PM-emitting facilities exist at multiple geographic scales. Disparities for Blacks are more pronounced than are disparities on the basis of poverty status. Strictly socioeconomic considerations may be insufficient to reduce PM burdens equitably across populations.

          Finances

          • Greater education, harder work, better financial decisions, or other personal efforts on the part of Blacks is unlikely to reduce the racial wealth gap.

            Greater education, harder work, better financial decisions, or other personal efforts on the part of Blacks is unlikely to reduce the racial wealth gap.

            Author: William Darity Jr., Darrick Hamilton, Mark Paul, Alan Aja, Anne Price, Antonio Moore, and Caterina Chiopris
            Quote: Blacks cannot close the racial wealth gap by changing their individual behavior –i.e. by assuming more “personal responsibility” or acquiring the portfolio management insights associated with “financially literacy” – if the structural sources of racial inequality remain unchanged. There are no actions that black Americans can take unilaterally that will have much of an effect on reducing the racial wealth gap. For the gap to be closed, America must undergo a vast social transformation produced by the adoption of bold national policies, policies that will forge a way forward by addressing, finally, the long-standing consequences of slavery, the Jim Crow years that followed, and ongoing racism and discrimination that exist in our society today. Our report indicates that closing the racial wealth gap requires an accurate assessment of the causes of the disparity and imaginative action to produce systemic reform and lasting change.

          • The average Black family has 50% of the income and 15% of the wealth of the average White family; since 1950, the income gap has not changed while the wealth gap has worsened.

            The average Black family has 50% of the income and 15% of the wealth of the average White family; since 1950, the income gap has not changed while the wealth gap has worsened.

            Author: Moritz Kuhn, Moritz Schularick, Ulrike I. Steins
            Published: 2018 by SSRN
            Abstract: This paper introduces a new long-run dataset based on archival data from historical waves of the Survey of Consumer Finances. The household-level data allow us to study the joint distributions of household income and wealth since 1949. We expose the central importance of portfolio composition and asset prices for wealth dynamics in postwar America. Asset prices shift the wealth distribution because the composition and leverage of household portfolios differ systematically along the wealth distribution. Middle-class portfolios are dominated by housing, while rich households predominantly own equity. An important consequence is that the top and the middle of the distribution are affected differentially by changes in equity and house prices. Housing booms lead to substantial wealth gains for leveraged middle-class households and tend to decrease wealth inequality, all else equal. Stock market booms primarily boost the wealth of households at the top of the distribution. This race between the equity market and the housing market shaped wealth dynamics in postwar America and decoupled the income and wealth distribution over extended periods. The historical data also reveal that no progress has been made in reducing income and wealth inequalities between black and white households over the past 70 years, and that close to half of all American households have less wealth today in real terms than the median household had in 1970.

            Healthcare

            • Physicians' unconscious racial biases can influence their medical recommendations.

              Physicians' unconscious racial biases can influence their medical recommendations.

              Author: Alexander R. Green, Dana R. Carney, Daniel J. Pallin, Long H. Ngo, Kristal L. Raymond, Lisa I. Iezzoni, Mahzarin R. Banaji
              Quote: Physicians reported no explicit preference for white versus black patients or differences in perceived cooperativeness. In contrast, IATs revealed implicit preference favoring white Americans (mean IAT score = 0.36, P < .001, one-sample t test) and implicit stereotypes of black Americans as less cooperative with medical procedures (mean IAT score 0.22, P < .001), and less cooperative generally (mean IAT score 0.30, P < .001). As physicians’ prowhite implicit bias increased, so did their likelihood of treating white patients and not treating black patients with thrombolysis (P = .009). This study represents the first evidence of unconscious (implicit) race bias among physicians, its dissociation from conscious (explicit) bias, and its predictive validity. Results suggest that physicians’ unconscious biases may contribute to racial/ethnic disparities in use of medical procedures such as thrombolysis for myocardial infarction.

            • Blacks are up to 58% more likely than Whites to undergo surgery at low-quality hospitals.

              Blacks are up to 58% more likely than Whites to undergo surgery at low-quality hospitals.

              Author: Justin Dimick, Joel Ruhter, Mary Vaughan Sarrazin, and John D. Birkmeyer
              Published: 2013 by Health Affairs
              Abstract: Research has shown that black patients more frequently undergo surgery at low-quality hospitals than do white patients. We assessed the extent to which living in racially segregated areas and living in geographic proximity to low-quality hospitals contribute to this disparity. Using national Medicare data for all patients who underwent one of three high-risk surgical procedures in 2005–08, we found that black patients actually tended to live closer to higher-quality hospitals than white patients did but were 25–58 percent more likely than whites to receive surgery at low-quality hospitals. Racial segregation was also a factor, with black patients in the most segregrated areas 41–96 percent more likely than white patients to undergo surgery at low-quality hospitals. To address these disparities, care navigators and public reporting of comparative quality could steer patients and their referring physicians to higher-quality hospitals, while quality improvement efforts could focus on improving outcomes for high-risk surgery at hospitals that disproportionately serve black patients. Unfortunately, existing policies such as pay-for-performance, bundled payments, and nonpayment for adverse events may divert resources and exacerbate these disparities.

            • Pregnancy-related deaths are 3 times more likely for Black women than White women.

              Pregnancy-related deaths are 3 times more likely for Black women than White women.

              Author: Emily E. Petersen, MD; Nicole L. Davis, PhD; David Goodman, PhD; Shanna Cox, MSPH; Carla Syverson, MSN; Kristi Seed; Carrie Shapiro-Mendoza
              Published: 2019 by US Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
              Quote: Pregnancy-related mortality ratios (PRMRs) (i.e., pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births) were analyzed by demographic characteristics and state PRMR tertiles (i.e., states with lowest, middle, and highest PRMR); cause-specific proportionate mortality by race/ethnicity also was calculated. Over the period analyzed, the U.S. overall PRMR was 16.7 pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births. Non-Hispanic black (black) and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women experienced higher PRMRs (40.8 and 29.7, respectively) than did all other racial/ethnic groups. This disparity persisted over time and across age groups. The PRMR for black and AI/AN women aged ≥30 years was approximately four to five times that for their white counterparts. PRMRs for black and AI/AN women with at least some college education were higher than those for all other racial/ethnic groups with less than a high school diploma. Among state PRMR tertiles, the PRMRs for black and AI/AN women were 2.8–3.3 and 1.7–3.3 times as high, respectively, as those for non-Hispanic white (white) women.

            • False ideas of racial biological differences are potential contributors to racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment.

              False ideas of racial biological differences are potential contributors to racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment.

              Author: Kelly M. Hoffmana, Sophie Trawaltera, Jordan R. Axta, and M. Norman Oliver
              Published: 2016 by PNAS
              Abstract: Black Americans are systematically undertreated for pain relative to white Americans. We examine whether this racial bias is related to false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites (e.g., “black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s skin”). Study 1 documented these beliefs among white laypersons and revealed that participants who more strongly endorsed false beliefs about biological differences reported lower pain ratings for a black (vs. white) target. Study 2 extended these findings to the medical context and found that half of a sample of white medical students and residents endorsed these beliefs. Moreover, participants who endorsed these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as lower and made less accurate treatment recommendations. Participants who did not endorse these beliefs rated the black (vs. white) patient’s pain as higher, but showed no bias in treatment recommendations. These findings suggest that individuals with at least some medical training hold and may use false beliefs about biological differences between blacks and whites to inform medical judgments, which may contribute to racial disparities in pain assessment and treatment.

            • Pediatricians with pro-White implicit bias are less likely to prescribe narcotics for pain management in Blacks.

              Pediatricians with pro-White implicit bias are less likely to prescribe narcotics for pain management in Blacks.

              Author: Janice A. Sabin, PhD, MSW, and Anthony G. Greenwald, PhD
              Abstract: Objectives. We examined the association between pediatricians’ attitudes about race and treatment recommendations by patients’ race. Methods. We conducted an online survey of academic pediatricians (n = 86). We used 3 Implicit Association Tests to measure implicit attitudes and stereotypes about race. Dependent variables were recommendations for pain management, urinary tract infections, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and asthma, measured by case vignettes. We used correlational analysis to assess associations among measures and hierarchical multiple regression to measure the interactive effect of the attitude measures and patients’ race on treatment recommendations. Results. Pediatricians’ implicit (unconscious) attitudes and stereotypes were associated with treatment recommendations. The association between unconscious bias and patient’s race was statistically significant for prescribing a narcotic medication for pain following surgery. As pediatricians’ implicit proWhite bias increased, prescribing narcotic medication decreased for African American patients but not for the White patients. Self-reported attitudes about race were associated with some treatment recommendations. Conclusions. Pediatricians’ implicit attitudes about race affect pain management. There is a need to better understand the influence of physicians’ unconscious beliefs about race on pain and other areas of care.

              Housing

              • With other factors being equal, Black and Latinx mortgage applicants are charged higher interest rates and refinancing fees, even when applying online.

                With other factors being equal, Black and Latinx mortgage applicants are charged higher interest rates and refinancing fees, even when applying online.

                Author: Robert Bartlett, Adair Morse, Richard Stanton, Nancy Wallace
                Abstract: Under U.S. fair-lending law, lenders can discriminate against minorities only for creditworthiness. Using an identification under this rule, afforded by the GSEs’ pricing of mortgage credit risk, we estimate discrimination in the largest consumer-lending market for traditional and FinTech lenders. We find that lenders charge otherwise-equivalent Latinx/African-American borrowers 7.9 (3.6) bps higher rates for purchase (refinance) mortgages, costing $765M yearly. FinTechs fail to eliminate impermissible discrimination, possibly because algorithms extract rents in weaker competitive environments and/or profile borrowers on low-shopping behavior. Yet algorithmic lenders do reduce rate disparities by more than a third and show no discrimination in rejection rates.

              • Blacks submit more offers for homes, report more difficulties, and are much more likely to feel they were taken advantage of during the search.

                Blacks submit more offers for homes, report more difficulties, and are much more likely to feel they were taken advantage of during the search.

                Author: Maria Krysan
                Published: 2007 by Social Science Research
                Abstract: In a departure from most studies of the causes of racial residential segregation that focus on the three main factors of economics, preferences, and discrimination, this paper examines one of the mechanisms through which segregation may be perpetuated: the housing search process itself. Data come from a 2004 face-to-face survey of an area probability sample of African American and white householders living in the three counties of the Detroit metropolitan area (n=734). These data are used to address three research questions: (1) What are the strategies people use to find housing, and are there racial differences in those strategies? (2) Do whites and African Americans report similar or different experiences in the search for housing? (3) Do the locations in which people search for housing vary by race? Results show that once controlling for the type of search and background characteristics, the search strategies are generally similar for whites and blacks, though more so for buyers than renters: for example, black renters use more informal strategies and networks than do white renters. Analyses that look at the features of these strategies, however, reveal some significant racial differences. Search experiences are similar in terms of length and number of homes inspected, but other objective and subjective questions about the search show blacks at a disadvantage compared to whites: African Americans submit more offers/applications for homes, report more difficulties, and are much more likely to feel they were taken advantage of during the search. The racial characteristics of the communities in which blacks and whites search are quite different: whites mainly search in white communities, while African Americans search in communities with a variety of racial compositions. The paper concludes with a call for further research on housing search strategies, with particular attention to the role of social networks.

              • Just the presence of young Black men in a neighborhood cause it to be perceived as having a higher crime level.

                Just the presence of young Black men in a neighborhood cause it to be perceived as having a higher crime level.

                Author: Lincoln Quillian and Devah Pager
                Abstract: This article investigates the relationship between neighborhood racial composition and perceptions residents have of their neighborhood’s level of crime. The study uses questions about perceptions of neighborhood crime from surveys in Chicago, Seattle, and Baltimore, matched with census data and police department crime statistics. The percentage young black men in a neighborhood is positively associated with perceptions of the neighborhood crime level, even after controlling for two measures of crime rates and other neighborhood characteristics. This supports the view that stereotypes are influencing perceptions of neighborhood crime levels. Variation in effects by race of the perceiver and implications for racial segregation are discussed.

              • Black homeseekers are told about 11% fewer rental units than Whites and 17% fewer homes for sale than Whites.

                Black homeseekers are told about 11% fewer rental units than Whites and 17% fewer homes for sale than Whites.

                Author: Margery Austin Turner, Rob Santos, Diane K. Levy, Doug Wissoker, Claudia Aranda, Rob Pitingolo
                Quote: Although the most blatant forms of housing discrimination (refusing to meet with a minority homeseeker or provide information about any available units) have declined since the first national paired-testing study in 1977, the forms of discrimination that persist (providing information about fewer units) raise the costs of housing search for minorities and restrict their housing options. Looking forward, national fair housing policies must continue to adapt to address the patterns of discrimination and disparity that persist today.

              • Black and Hispanic residents face a 10-13% higher tax burden for the same public services.

                Black and Hispanic residents face a 10-13% higher tax burden for the same public services.

                Author: Carlos Avenancio-Leon and Troup Howard
                Published: 2020 by SSRN
                Abstract: We use panel data covering 118 million homes in the United States, merged with geolocation detail for 75,000 taxing entities, to document a nationwide “assessment gap” which leads local governments to place a disproportionate fiscal burden on racial and ethnic minorities. We show that holding jurisdictions and property tax rates fixed, black and Hispanic residents nonetheless face a 10–13% higher tax burden for the same bundle of public services. This assessment gap arises through two channels. First, property assessments are less sensitive to neighborhood attributes than market prices are. This generates racially correlated spatial variation in tax burden within jurisdiction. Second, appeals behavior and appeals outcomes differ by race. This results in higher assessment growth rates for minority residents. We propose an alternate approach for constructing assessments based on small-geography home price indexes, and show that this reduces inequality by at least 55–70%.

              • Owner-occupied homes in Black neighborhoods are undervalued by $48,000 per home on average.

                Owner-occupied homes in Black neighborhoods are undervalued by $48,000 per home on average.

                Author: Andre M. Perry, Jonathan Rothwell, and David Harshbarger
                Published: 2018 by Brookings Institution

                Political Power

                • Blacks and Hispanics report experiencing problems voting at rates 2-3 times higher than those of Whites.

                  Blacks and Hispanics report experiencing problems voting at rates 2-3 times higher than those of Whites.

                  Author: Alex Vandermaas-Peeler, Daniel Cox, Molly Fisch-Friedman, Rob Griffin, Ph.D., Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.
                  Published: 2018 by PRRI
                  Quote: Few Americans report experiencing problems, such as having trouble finding their polling place or lacking proper identification, the most recent time they attempted to vote, but those who do report such issues are far more likely to be black and Hispanic than white.

                • Wait times to vote are significantly longer in entirely-black neighborhoods than in entirely-white neighborhoods.

                  Wait times to vote are significantly longer in entirely-black neighborhoods than in entirely-white neighborhoods.

                  Author: M. Keith Chen, Kareem Haggag, Devin G. Pope, Ryne Rohla
                  Abstract: Equal access to voting is a core feature of democratic government. Using data from millions of smartphone users, we quantify a racial disparity in voting wait times across a nationwide sample of polling places during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Relative to entirely-white neighborhoods, residents of entirely-black neighborhoods waited 29% longer to vote and were 74% more likely to spend more than 30 minutes at their polling place. This disparity holds when comparing predominantly white and black polling places within the same states and counties, and survives numerous robustness and placebo tests. We shed light on the mechanism for these results and discuss how geospatial data can be an effective tool to both measure and monitor these disparities going forward.

                  Stereotyping

                  • Whites are more fearful of encounters with Blacks than those with Whites.

                    Whites are more fearful of encounters with Blacks than those with Whites.

                    Author: Stjohn C. HealdmooreT
                    Published: 1995 by Social Science Research
                    Abstract: We examine the effect of the race of strangers encountered in public on the fear evoked by such encounters. We use the factorial survey approach to separate the effect of the race of persons encountered from age and gender of the persons encountered and the contexts in which the encounters take place. We find that whites are more fearful of encounters with blacks than those with whites. For whites, the fear of encounters with blacks is invariant across other characteristics of the persons encountered, the settings in which the encounters take place, and characteristics of survey respondents. We find that blacks are more fearful of encounters with blacks only in some circumstances. In others, blacks are more fearful of white strangers.

                  • Minority males are overrepresented as dangerous thugs in video games.

                    Minority males are overrepresented as dangerous thugs in video games.

                    Author: Melinda C. R. Burgess,Karen E. Dill,S. Paul Stermer,Stephen R. Burgess &Brian P. Brown
                    Published: 2011 by Media Psychology
                    Abstract: A content analysis of top-selling video game magazines (Study 1) and of 149 video game covers (Study 2) demonstrated the commonality of overt racial stereotyping. Both studies revealed that minority females are virtually absent in game representations. Study 1 revealed that, in video game magazines, minority males, underrepresented generally, were more likely to be portrayed as athletes or as aggressive, and less likely to be depicted in military combat or using technology, than White males. Study 2 also showed evidence of the “dangerous” minority male stereotype in video game covers. Again, underrepresented overall, minority males were overrepresented as thugs, using extreme guns, and also as athletes. Study 3, an experiment, exposed players to both violent and nonviolent games with both White and Black characters. Participants were faster at classifying violent stimuli following games with Black characters and at classifying nonviolent stimuli following games with White characters, indicating that images of popular video game characters evoke racial stereotypes.

                  • Most White adults who work with children endorse negative stereotypes towards Blacks.

                    Most White adults who work with children endorse negative stereotypes towards Blacks.

                    Author: Naomi Priest,Natalie Slopen,Susan Woolford,Jeny Tony Philip,Dianne Singer,Anna Daly Kauffman,Kathryn Mosely,Matthew Davis,Yusuf Ransome,David William
                    Published: 2018 by PLOS ONE
                    Abstract: This study examined the prevalence of racial/ethnic stereotypes among White adults who work or volunteer with children, and whether stereotyping of racial/ethnic groups varied towards different age groups. Participants were 1022 White adults who volunteer and/or work with children in the United States who completed a cross-sectional, online survey. Results indicate high proportions of adults who work or volunteer with children endorsed negative stereotypes towards Blacks and other ethnic minorities. Respondents were most likely to endorse negative stereotypes towards Blacks, and least likely towards Asians (relative to Whites). Moreover, endorsement of negative stereotypes by race was moderated by target age. Stereotypes were often lower towards young children but higher towards teens.

                    The Racial Awareness Project

                    Raising awareness of the current areas of racial disparity and systemic racism in the United States