Racial disparities in health and wealth

The effects of slavery and past discrimination

Darrell J. Gaskin, Alvin E. Headen, Shelley White-Means

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Racial disparities in health and wealth are well documented. Compared to whites, African Americans have lower life expectancy, higher death rates from chronic diseases, and receive sub-optimal medical care. In addition, African Americans are more likely to live in poverty, have lower median household incomes, lower net worth and lower educational attainment. Are these current disparities due in part to past societal racism? We explore this issue in this paper and propose a methodology for understanding the impact of the legacy of racism on present generations. We argue that slavery, racial segregation, and discrimination resulted in real reductions in the health and wealth of African Americans that have persisted across generations. Federal, state and local policies and laws constrained previous generations of African Americans' investment decisions and opportunities to improve their health, and accumulate financial assets and human capital. The elimination and relaxing of these policies and laws, while halting further injury, did not compensate for the past restrictions on the incentives and capacity of parents to invest in the human capital of their children. Thus, it did not remedy the damage that was done during the period of these legal racist practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalReview of Black Political Economy
Volume32
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

Fingerprint

slavery
discrimination
health
human capital
racism
legal usage
Law
death rate
federal state
life expectancy
household income
medical care
segregation
remedies
assets
damages
parents
low income
incentive
poverty

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Economics and Econometrics

Cite this

Racial disparities in health and wealth : The effects of slavery and past discrimination. / Gaskin, Darrell J.; Headen, Alvin E.; White-Means, Shelley.

In: Review of Black Political Economy, Vol. 32, No. 3-4, 01.12.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{58438c1816224a53b8c4c1a653868538,
title = "Racial disparities in health and wealth: The effects of slavery and past discrimination",
abstract = "Racial disparities in health and wealth are well documented. Compared to whites, African Americans have lower life expectancy, higher death rates from chronic diseases, and receive sub-optimal medical care. In addition, African Americans are more likely to live in poverty, have lower median household incomes, lower net worth and lower educational attainment. Are these current disparities due in part to past societal racism? We explore this issue in this paper and propose a methodology for understanding the impact of the legacy of racism on present generations. We argue that slavery, racial segregation, and discrimination resulted in real reductions in the health and wealth of African Americans that have persisted across generations. Federal, state and local policies and laws constrained previous generations of African Americans' investment decisions and opportunities to improve their health, and accumulate financial assets and human capital. The elimination and relaxing of these policies and laws, while halting further injury, did not compensate for the past restrictions on the incentives and capacity of parents to invest in the human capital of their children. Thus, it did not remedy the damage that was done during the period of these legal racist practices.",
author = "Gaskin, {Darrell J.} and Headen, {Alvin E.} and Shelley White-Means",
year = "2005",
month = "12",
day = "1",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
journal = "Review of Black Political Economy",
issn = "0034-6446",
publisher = "Springer New York",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Racial disparities in health and wealth

T2 - The effects of slavery and past discrimination

AU - Gaskin, Darrell J.

AU - Headen, Alvin E.

AU - White-Means, Shelley

PY - 2005/12/1

Y1 - 2005/12/1

N2 - Racial disparities in health and wealth are well documented. Compared to whites, African Americans have lower life expectancy, higher death rates from chronic diseases, and receive sub-optimal medical care. In addition, African Americans are more likely to live in poverty, have lower median household incomes, lower net worth and lower educational attainment. Are these current disparities due in part to past societal racism? We explore this issue in this paper and propose a methodology for understanding the impact of the legacy of racism on present generations. We argue that slavery, racial segregation, and discrimination resulted in real reductions in the health and wealth of African Americans that have persisted across generations. Federal, state and local policies and laws constrained previous generations of African Americans' investment decisions and opportunities to improve their health, and accumulate financial assets and human capital. The elimination and relaxing of these policies and laws, while halting further injury, did not compensate for the past restrictions on the incentives and capacity of parents to invest in the human capital of their children. Thus, it did not remedy the damage that was done during the period of these legal racist practices.

AB - Racial disparities in health and wealth are well documented. Compared to whites, African Americans have lower life expectancy, higher death rates from chronic diseases, and receive sub-optimal medical care. In addition, African Americans are more likely to live in poverty, have lower median household incomes, lower net worth and lower educational attainment. Are these current disparities due in part to past societal racism? We explore this issue in this paper and propose a methodology for understanding the impact of the legacy of racism on present generations. We argue that slavery, racial segregation, and discrimination resulted in real reductions in the health and wealth of African Americans that have persisted across generations. Federal, state and local policies and laws constrained previous generations of African Americans' investment decisions and opportunities to improve their health, and accumulate financial assets and human capital. The elimination and relaxing of these policies and laws, while halting further injury, did not compensate for the past restrictions on the incentives and capacity of parents to invest in the human capital of their children. Thus, it did not remedy the damage that was done during the period of these legal racist practices.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=32944460835&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=32944460835&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Review article

VL - 32

JO - Review of Black Political Economy

JF - Review of Black Political Economy

SN - 0034-6446

IS - 3-4

ER -