This article combines the literature on kin networks and racial disparities in asset ownership. Specifically, we examine the effects of kin characteristics-sibling poverty and parental poverty, education, and occupation-on financial account ownership and home ownership. We find that kin matter for these outcomes. Having a poor sibling and coming from a poor family are negatively associated with account and home ownership while mother's education has a positive effect. Separate analyses by race suggest that kin characteristics matter for both Blacks and Whites for account ownership, but for home ownership they are significant for Whites only. Racial differences in kin characteristics account for over half of the racial gap in account ownership, but are not important for understanding the racial gap in home ownership. The significant effects of extended family characteristics on socioeconomic well-being make a case for the inclusion of kin variables in the growing literature on wealth disparities among Blacks and Whites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science