RAND researchers illustrate the ways in which small effects of racial bias in educational achievement, income growth, and wealth accumulation can compound over lifetimes. They illustrate the effects of racial bias through the stories of two people who are identical except in terms of their races (one person is Black; the other is White) and use examples from the research to explain the differences in their paths. Users of the tool can adjust the amount of racial bias to see its effects on educational achievement, income growth, and wealth accumulation.
Even ostensibly small amounts of bias in education, income, and wealth can compound to create significant differences in outcomes in these metrics over time. In this tool, researchers modeled education, income, and wealth independently, without showing their interactions for the sake of conceptual simplicity. In reality, differences in education likely will lead to differences in income, which will, in turn, lead to differences in wealth, which can lead to differences in education, income, and wealth for succeeding generations.
Funding for this research was made possible by the independent research and development provisions of RAND's contracts for the operation of its U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development centers. The research was conducted within RAND Project AIR FORCE.
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