Oregon Law Review : Vol. 89, No. 2, p.453-504 : Inheriting Inequality: Wealth, Race, and the Laws of Succession
Strand, Palma Joy
Following the thread of inheritance law, I started with current wealth inequality, which—after falling from its twentieth century peak in the 1920s to a low point around 1980—has increased steadily in recent decades. Further exploration led to the particularly acute wealth disparities between Black and White households as well as studies documenting the effect of inheritance in perpetuating those disparities. This is an issue of immediate urgency: The wave of racialized wealth owned by the parents of the baby boom generation is currently washing over the baby boomers in an enormous intergenerational transfer of wealth. Without intervention, the wealth distribution going forward will be at least as racially skewed as it is at present.