Race Matters: Income Shares, Income Inequality, and Income Mobility for All U.S. Races
This paper presents income shares, income inequality, and income immobility measures for all race and ethnic groups in the United States using the universe of U.S. tax returns matched at the individual level to U.S. Census race data for 2000–2014. Whites and Asians have a disproportionately large share of income in top quantiles. Income for most race groups ranges between 50–80 percent of the corresponding White income level consistently across various percentiles in the overall income distribution—suggesting that class alone cannot explain away overall income differences. The rate of income growth at the 90th percentile exceeds that of the 50th and 10th percentiles for all race and ethnic groups; divergence is largest for Whites, however, in the post-Great Recession era. Income immobility is largest for the highest-income races. Overall, these results paint a picture of a rigid income structure by race and ethnicity over time.
This draft is released to inform interested parties of research and to encourage discussion. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the U.S. Census Bureau. We would like to thank participants at the UCLA Center for Population Research seminar and seminars at Dartmouth University and the University of Kentucky, as well as Moshe Buchinsky, David Card, Raj Chetty, Sandy Darity, Rajeev Dehejia, Nicole Fortin, John Friedman, Tim Halliday, Darrick Hamilton, Nathan Hendren, Chinhui Juhn, Adriana Kugler, Adriana Lleras-Muney, Paul Ong, Sarah Reber, Mark Rosenzweig, Matthias Schuendeln, Steven Stillman, and Till von Wachter for helpful comments and feedback. Any errors are ours alone. Akee acknowledges financial support for this work from the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at UCLA Luskin School and the UCLA American Indian Studies Center. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Randall Akee & Maggie R. Jones & Sonya R. Porter, 2019. "Race Matters: Income Shares, Income Inequality, and Income Mobility for All U.S. Races," Demography, vol 56(3), pages 999-1021. citation courtesy of