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Author: Adames, Alexander
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Adames, Alexander
The Cumulative Effects of Colorism: Race, Wealth, and Skin Tone
Social Forces published online (13 March 2023): DOI: 10.1093/sf/soad038.
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Keyword(s): Racial Equality/Inequality; Skin Tone; Wealth

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Researchers have long documented a persistent Black-White gap in wealth. These studies, however, often treat race as a discrete category, eluding its socially constructed nature. As a result, these studies assume that the "effect of race" is consistent across all individuals racialized as Black. Studies that make this assumption potentially obscure heterogeneity in the size of the Black-White wealth gap. Research on skin color stratification suggests that it is possible that the Black-White wealth gap varies by the extent to which a racial subgroup is deemed to fit the broader racial umbrella. In turn, I adopt a more complex operationalization of race that is based on both racial and skin tone appraisals. Drawing on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, I find that the Black-White wealth gap does vary by the Black skin tone subgroup. Generally, the Black-White gap in assets is smallest when focusing on lighter-skin Black people and largest when focusing on darker-skin Black people. These differences are not only the result of initial disadvantage but also cumulative disadvantage in the rate of wealth accumulation. Lastly, the findings suggest that the Black-White wealth gaps grow at a faster rate than the skin tone wealth gaps. I found that differences were robust to adjustments for parental socioeconomic status, childhood background, and interviewer characteristics. I conclude by discussing the theoretical implications for our understanding of the mechanisms undergirding Black-White disparities in wealth attainment.
Bibliography Citation
Adames, Alexander. "The Cumulative Effects of Colorism: Race, Wealth, and Skin Tone." Social Forces published online (13 March 2023): DOI: 10.1093/sf/soad038.