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Closing the Racial Inequality Gaps: The Economic Cost of Black Inequality in the U.S.

This September 2020 report, directed by Dana M. Peterson (then a Global Economist with Citi Research and currently Chief Economist at The Conference Board) with insight from Catherine L. Mann (Global Chief Economist at Citigroup), quantified the economic impact of racial inequality in the United States. Measuring a 20 year period, the research found a staggering 16 trillion dollar loss to the United States' economy as the result of racial disparities. This number was derived by tallying wage gaps, lost income as the result of education barriers, housing credit inequities, and prejudiced entrepreneurial lending. The report begins by acknowledging COVID-19's disparate impact on Black families and individuals, citing increased rates of job, food, and housing insecurity resulting from the pandemic and unequal relief distribution. Next, the report covers historical context, including a discussion of the legal barriers that proliferated economic inequality. Then, the report expounds on the four key areas mentioned above (the Racial Education Gap, the Racial Wealth Gap, the Racial Housing Gap, and the Racial Investment Gap). Finally, the last section of the report covers ways to close these gaps, including steps governments, companies, and individuals can take.
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