Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

The wealth gap is a complex topic replete with differing opinions and myths. This publication provides the Department of the Air Force (DAF) with an organizing structure of the underpinnings of the wealth gap experienced by women and racial/ethnic minorities, and the intersectionality across both groups, to better inform human capital management decisions.

Wealth and its associated gaps across gender and racial/ethnic minority groups are important for the DAF to consider because the citizens whom it seeks to recruit come from macroenvironments that have historic disparities. These disparities affect current and future service members and the social networks from which they come. It also is useful for the DAF to understand the nuances of the wealth gap and think through the role it could serve in reducing wealth-related disparities.

This publication provides DAF leaders and policymakers with an interdisciplinary framework that merges four selected lenses—generational wealth, vocational psychology, wealth management, and psychological mindset—to better see and understand the wealth gap when considering potential recruits from underrepresented groups. Recommendations for the DAF (and the U.S. Department of Defense [DoD]) offer actionable ways to bridge the wealth gap and uphold DoD's mission of equality and inclusion.

Research conducted by

Funding for this research was made possible through the concept formulation provision of the Department of the Air Force–RAND Sponsoring Agreement and was conducted within the Workforce, Development, and Health Program of RAND Project AIR FORCE.

This commentary is part of the RAND expert insight series. RAND Expert Insights present perspectives on timely policy issues. All RAND Expert Insights undergo peer review to ensure high standards for quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.