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Research: Race Trumps Income in Who Saves and How

  • September 7, 2009

A groundbreaking and important study of retirement savings disparities across racial/ethnic groups. The study — the largest, most comprehensive examination of the 401(k) savings behavior of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and white employees — was conducted by Ariel Education Initiative, the nonprofit affiliate of Ariel Investments, and Hewitt Associates, along with the Chicago Urban League, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the National Council of La Raza, the National Urban League, and The Raben Group. The study was funded with a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation.

It proves that race — as a proxy for culture — is a greater determinant than income in the decisions people make around how much they will save and how. In chapter 13 of The Inclusion Paradox, “Why Not Acknowledging Differences Can Make Us Sicker and Poorer” I explore the why — how cultural differences lead to different decisions.

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