HARI SREENIVASAN: New research finds class matters a lot less in America when it comes to economic mobility for black males. Income inequality is often cited as an important factor in holding people back, but a new analysis suggests black boys and black men face economic disadvantages even if they start off from a similar point of income and wealth as their white counterparts. Yamiche Alcindor is back with our conversation.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: A new study released this week underscores just how big a gap African-American males face when it comes to moving up the economic ladder. Some of the findings are dramatic. White boys who grew up in rich households are likely to remain that way. Black boys who are also raised at the top are more likely to become poor, instead of staying wealthy in their own adult households. Black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America, even when children grow up next to each other, with parents who earn similar incomes. Raj Chetty of Stanford University is one of the co-authors of this study. He joins me now. Thank you so much, Raj, for being here. This report seems to indicate that black men will fare worse than white men even if they are raised in households with similar incomes. Can you explain what's happening there?
RAJ CHETTY, Professor of Economics, Stanford University: Yes, so one of the most striking findings of the study to us was that, even if you take black and white boys raised in families at exactly the same income level, even at high income levels, you see that black boys end up with very different outcomes on average relative to white men. They're less likely to complete high school. They're less likely to go to college, to have significantly lower earnings in adulthood. And that phenomenon, interestingly, applies really only to black men. When we look at black vs. white women, but see much more similarity in their outcomes if they grew up in families of similar incomes. So it's something unique to what's happening to black men in America that I think is really a concern for generations going forward in terms of perpetuating inequality by race.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: And that inequality is really striking to me. One of the things the study reports is that African-American men who grow up in households with two parents that are earning $140,000, they fare about the same as a white young man who is raised by a single mother making just $60,000. How can that be true, because it feels so counterintuitive? And what does that mean for African-American families and their futures?
RAJ CHETTY: Yes, what you're getting at really is the finding that there's a great deal of downward mobility in black families. So, you would have thought intuitively -- that is what we expected going in -- is, when you get to a certain income level, maybe racial disparities disappear, that at some point kind of escape the poverty trap. But that really doesn't seem to be the case.Even once your parents reach a high income level, it continues to be the case that black men have higher odds of essentially ending up in the bottom of the income distribution than staying at the top of the income distribution. And that's why you get this pattern that black men's outcomes look comparable to white men growing up in relatively low- or middle-income families.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: You mentioned in the study that there are unique obstacles that black men face. Are we -- just to be clear, are we talking about racism and racial bias? And what are those unique obstacles that black men in particular face?
RAJ CHETTY: Yes. So, to try to get at that, we look at how this varies across different parts of the country, so look neighborhood by neighborhood, and ask, are there some neighborhoods in America where you see small black-white gaps, or
perhaps black men doing better than white men? And, surprisingly, you find essentially no such areas. In 99 percent of neighborhoods in America, you see better outcomes for white men than black men. Now, digging in deeper, you can ask, where do we see relatively good outcomes for black men? And there are a couple of factors that pop out from that analysis. One, you see that areas with larger rates of father presence in homes among black men, you have better outcomes for black boys there. So, if there are more two-parent families, particularly among African-American households, you see better outcomes for black boys. And, second, you see that areas with lower levels of racial bias among whites tend to have outcomes for black men. So those are a couple of factor that I think could be associated with these better outcomes. But I think more remains to be understood in terms of exactly what's driving these really sharp differences.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Gotcha. And I want to talk about the differences between black women and black men.There are some critiques out there, critics of the study out there that are arguing that black women who don't have long-term incomes weren't counted in your study. Is that accurate? And could you talk a little bit about your findings of black women and the data that you used?
RAJ CHETTY: Yes, so we include everyone. So, the power of the study is that we're able to track, using anonymized data, about 20 million Americans from birth to adulthood, people born in the early 1980s whose incomes we're looking at, in their late 30s. And that includes everyone, whether you're working or not. Every single person is counted. And so, if you're not working, you're assigned an income of zero and you're counted in the study. And what we show is that, even taking that into account, black women, conditional on growing up in a family that is at the same income level as white women, they end up with very similar outcomes. They have similar levels of earnings, similar wage rates, similar college attendance rates. They work at similar rates. So, it's really remarkable how, for women, you don't see that much of a black-white disparity. Very starkly different from men. Now, I should emphasize that doesn't mean that women are living in households with the same income levels, because black women tend to be married to men who are black who have lower incomes. And they also are married at lower rates. And so if you look at household income, of course, you do see a significant disparity between black women and white women. But when you look at their own earnings, they look very similar.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: And then I guess I have one quick question, which is, tell me a little bit about the solutions here. You mention in the study that mentoring might be a possibility, that there might be some policy changes. What do you have to say about how this could change?
RAJ CHETTY: Yes. So, in thinking about the solutions, I think it's very important to remember that you continue to see these disparities even among kids growing up on the same street, going to the same schools, and so on. And so, often, solutions people think of are things like, we need to create greater opportunities for black and white kids to grow up in the same neighborhoods, to attend the same schools and
so forth, to reduce residential or physical segregation in America. And while I think that can be extremely valuable, what this study shows is, you need to do more than that. Even among kids growing up in the same area, you need to create the same opportunities for
black men to thrive as you see for white men. That could involve things like mentoring programs, for example, like the My Brother's Keeper Program, targeted at low-income men to give them pathways to success. It could involve efforts to try to reduce racial bias.
It could involve efforts to try to create more racial integration within schools and within neighborhoods, so black and white kids have similar opportunities.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Thank you so much, Raj, for joining me. I really appreciate it.
RAJ CHETTY: My pleasure. Thank you.
1.hold back 阻滞
Stagnation in home sales is holding back economic recovery.
2.start off 开始
Her mother started her off acting in children's theatre.
3.end up with 结束
That's what you'll end up with, you mark my words.
4.conditional on 以...为条件
Their support is conditional on his proposals meeting their approval.
5.back with 倒回
She shrank back with an involuntary gasp.
雅米彻·埃辛德：本周发布了一项新的研究，其中强调了非洲裔美国男性在努力改善经济状况方面，存在多么大的一个差距 。有些发现极富戏剧性 。在富裕家庭长大的白人男孩很可能会保持这种富裕的生活状态 。而同样在富裕家庭长大的黑人男孩成年后，则更容易沦为穷人，无法继续保持他们富庶的生活状态 。在99%的情况下，美国黑人男孩长大后要比白人男孩表现逊色，即使他们同住一个街区，彼此互为邻居，父母收入相当，也是如此 。斯坦福大学的拉吉·切蒂是这项研究报告的共同作者 。现在他加入访谈 。非常感谢你做客节目，拉吉 。这份报告似乎表明黑人男性比白人男性差，即便他们在收入相似的家庭环境中长大 。你能解释一下其中缘由吗？
拉吉·切蒂，斯坦福大学经济学教授：是的，那么对我们来说，研究中一个最惊人的发现是，即使黑人和白人男孩的家庭收入水平完全相同，即使他们处在高收入水平上，也是一样，你看，黑人男孩的最终境况与白人相比有很大不同 。他们不大可能完成高中学业 。他们不太可能走进大学，成年后的收入明显较低 。有趣的是，这种现象只适用于黑人男性 。当我们观察黑人女性与白人女性时，如果她们在相似收入的家庭环境中长大，成年后生活状态比起男性，则会更相似 。所以我认为在美国黑人男人身上发生的事情真的非常独特，所以我认为，这个问题是我们未来应该关注的，即固存的种族不平等 。
雅米彻·埃辛德：这种不平等真的令我很震惊 。研究报告指出，在双亲收入140,000美元家庭中长大的非洲裔美国人，与由只赚60,000美元单身母亲养大的白人男孩成长结果差不多 。这怎么可能呢，因为这感觉有悖常理？这对非裔美国人家庭和他们的未来意味着什么呢？
拉吉·切蒂：是的，你真正发现的是，黑人家庭中存在一个非常巨大的下行流动趋势 。所以，你会本能地思考——这就是我们期望的——当你到达一定的收入水平，也许种族差异就消失了，在某种程度上逃避了贫困陷阱 。但事实并非如此 。即使你的父母达到了高收入水平，黑人的情况仍然如此，即停留在收入分配的底端，而非顶端 。这就是为什么你会得到这样一种模式，即黑人的结果看起来和在相对低收入或中等收入家庭中成长白人不相上下 。
雅米彻·埃辛德：你在研究中提到，黑人面临的障碍十分独特 。我们是不是要澄清一下，我们是在谈论种族主义和种族偏见吗？黑人男性面临的特殊障碍是什么？拉吉·切蒂：是的 。因此，为了研究这个问题，我们来看看这些差异在美国不同地区是如何变化的，一个社区一个社区地看，再问一问，你有没有发现在美国一些社区中，存在的黑白差异较小，或者也许黑人比白人做得更好？令人惊讶的是，你根本找不到这样的地方 。在美国99%的社区中，白人男性要比黑人男性取得的结果更好 。现在，深入挖掘，你可以问，对于黑人男性，我们在哪里可以看到相对较好的结果？进过分析，这里存在几个因素 。第一，你看到在那些父亲参与更多的黑人家庭中，黑人男孩会有更好的结果 。所以，如果有更多的双亲家庭，尤其是非裔美国人家庭，你会看到黑人男孩拥有更好的结局 。第二，你会看到白人种族偏见程度低的地区，黑人男性更倾向于会有更好的结局 。因此，我认为这些因素可能会带来更好的结果 。但我认为更多的是要理解到底是什么导致了这些尖锐的差异 。
雅米彻·埃辛德：明白 。我想谈谈黑人妇女和黑人男性之间的差异 。有人批评此项研究，认为长期没有收入的黑人妇女并未计入你的研究 。这项研究结果准确吗？你能谈谈你对黑人妇女的调查结果和你所使用的数据吗？
拉吉·切蒂：可以，我们将所有人囊括其中 。因此，本研究的力量在于我们能够使用匿名数据对从出生到成年，约2000万的美国人进行跟踪，出生于80年代初的人，我们在关注他们30多岁时的收入 。这包括每个人，不管你是否在工作 。每个人都算在内 。所以，如果你不工作，你的收入为零，你会被算在内 。我们所展现的是，即使考虑到这一点，如果她们的家庭收入条件与白人女孩相当的话，她们的结局非常相似 。他们的收入水平相似，工资水平相似，大学入学率相似 。他们在职比率相似 。所以，对于女性来说，黑人和白人之间相差无几，这真是太棒了 。这很明显不同于男性 。现在，我要强调的是，这并不意味着妇女生活在同一收入水平的家庭中，因为黑人妇女往往嫁给了收入水平更低的黑人 。她们的结婚率较低 。因此，如果你看一下家庭收入，你会发现两者之间存在着很大的差异，黑人妇女和白人妇女 。但是当你看到她们自己的收入时，看起来则非常相似 。
雅米彻·埃辛德：然后，我想我有一个小问题，就是请告诉我，这种情况，怎么解决 。你在研究中提到指导可能是个办法，可能还会有一些政策上的变化 。你觉得这会如何改变？
拉吉·切蒂：是的 。因此，在思考解决方案时，我认为记住，这些差异还会继续下去，是非常重要的，即使是在同一条街上长大，上同一所学校的孩子，也能看到这些差异，凡此种种，不一而足 。因此，人们常常想到的解决办法是，我们需要创造更多的机会，让黑人和白人孩子在同一个社区长大，去同一所学校上学 。尽管我认为研究表明，这种方法可能非常有价值，但你仍需要做更多的工作 。即便是在同一地区长大的孩子，你也需要为他们创造与白人男性同样的机会，让他们发展 。比如，像导师计划之类的事情，比如像My Brother's Keeper计划，针对低收入男性，给他们提供成功的途径 。这可能包括努力减少种族偏见 。这可能包括努力在学校和社区内部营造更多的种族融合机会，这样黑人和白人孩子就有了相似的机会 。
雅米彻·埃辛德：非常感谢，拉吉，加入节目 。我真的非常感激 。
拉吉·切蒂：我的荣幸 。谢谢您 。