It will end up costing the U.S. economy as much as $1 trillion between now and 2028 for the nation to maintain its longstanding black-white racial wealth gap, according to a report released this month from the global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company. A study on the transfer of wealth from Southern slaveholding families to their children helps explain how these advantages came about. Strikingly, the inheritance of actual material profits from the slavery-based economy isn’t the culprit some suppose. The economists Leah Platt Boustan of Princeton University; Katherine Eriksson of the University of California, Davis; and Philipp Ager of the University of Southern Denmark found in their study, “The Intergenerational Effects of a Large Wealth Shock: White Southerners After the Civil War,” that white resilience to economic catastrophe has been almost impenetrable.
Read the full feature here.