Does College Level the Playing Field? Racial and Ethnic Differences in Family Wealth Among College-Educated Families

May 25-26, 2016

Hosted by the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability, the “Does College Level the Playing Field?” research symposium was held May 25-26, 2016.  

Through commissioned papers, the symposium aimed to better understand the underlying explanations of research led by the Center’s lead economist, William R. Emmons, which found that a college degree predicted rising levels of family wealth between 1992-2013 for whites and Asians, but declining levels of wealth over that period for blacks and Hispanics.

The papers that were presented at the symposium addressed differing experiences with homeownership, mortgages, student loans, family formation, inheritances, post-college labor markets and pre-college environments. Links to the papers, recently published in the St. Louis Fed’s Review, can be found below, along with videos of the symposium presentations.

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May 25

Welcome

Opening Roundtable: Why Does Wealth Vary among College Graduates?

Papers

Videos

May 26

The Pre- and Post-College Experiences

Papers

Videos

Changes in Family Structure

Paper

Videos

Keynote Conversation

Videos and transcripts:

The Homeownership and Mortgage Experiences

Paper

  • Carlos Garriga, Assistant Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Don Schlagenhauf, Economist, Center for Household Financial Stability, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Lowell R. Ricketts, Senior Analyst, Center for Household Financial Stability, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
    The Homeownership Experience of Minorities During the Great Recession (PDF)

Videos

The Role of Inheritances and Family Transfers

Paper

Videos

Closing Reflection, Moving Forward