William Darity Jr.
Areas of Expertise & Civic Involvements
Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.
Examines the mismatch between the political discourse around individual agency, education, and financial literacy, and the actual racial wealth gap. The authors argue that the racial wealth gap is rooted in socioeconomic and political structure barriers rather than a disdain for or underachievement in education or financial literacy on the part of Black Americans, as might be suggested by the conventional wisdom. Also, the article presents a stratification economic lens as an alternative to the conventional wisdom to better understand why the racial wealth gap persists.
Examines data on race and wealth status before and after incarceration to find that, although higher levels of wealth were associated with lower rates of incarceration, the likelihood of future incarceration still was higher for blacks at every level of wealth compared to the white likelihood. Further, finds that racial wealth gaps existed among those who would be incarcerated in the future and also among the previously incarcerated.
Explores racial and ethnic differences in net worth, focusing on Black families in Washington, DC, and shows, through a chronicle of their history in the city, how discrimination and systemic racism contributed to today's wealth gap in the nation's capital.
Assesses new data from the Boston metropolitan statistical area as part of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey to provide detailed information on financial assets that allow analysis to extend beyond the tradition black-white divide. The findings underscore the large racial and ethnic disparities in financial wealth, and indicate the need for wealth building opportunities in communities of color and further investigation of the causes and consequences of financial disparities between groups of color disaggregated by ancestral origin.
Examines link between skin shade, perhaps the most noticeable phenotypical characteristic, and wages for immigrants from five regions to determine whether a labor market penalty exists for members of immigrant groups as a result of being phenotypically different from white Americans.