Kin effects on black-white account and home ownership

Colleen M. Heflin, Mary Pattillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-239
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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