Race, Accessible Wealth and the Transition to Homeownership

Matthew Hall, Pennsylvania State University

We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to examine the impact of extended family wealth processes on individual household wealth accumulation and transitions to homeownership. Preliminary results indicate that the black-white disparity in nonhousing wealth can be fully explained by extended family wealth. We find smaller evidence for the role of extended family wealth in households' transitions to homeownership, although the results do suggest that both household and extended family wealth matter more for black than white householders - a finding consistent with the ”weak” version of the stratification model. At this exploratory stage in the analysis, we do not find evidence that the effects of extended family wealth are attenuated by the provision or receipt of financial support; future analyses will test alternative specifications of these terms.

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Presented in Session 21: Social and Economic Well-Being