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This report confirms the stark differences in upward earnings mobility for black men compared to both black women and whites. It also confirms that black women, despite their solid earnings mobility, have very low family income mobility. The report then estimates the impact of racial differences in marriage rates by simulating higher marriage rates among black women: like Race and Economic Opportunity in the United States: An Intergenerational Perspective" by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, Maggie Jones, and Sonya Porter, we find no significant effects.
In this paper, Fredrick C. Harris lauds many of the goals of My Brother's Keeper, a White House initiative whose purpose is to combat the difficult social conditions facing minority boys and young men in the United States, while also suggesting that it may fall short of its goals given its misplaced emphasis on character building. Human capital development and behavior-altering strategies will not succeed, Harris argues, unless policies are put in place which will dismantle the marginalization of poor and working-class minority youth. In fact, says Harris, much of rhetoric about personal responsibility -- touted by President Obama at events including the unveiling of the My Brother's Keeper initiative -- does not match reality and only reinforces existing stereotypes about black men, particularly as fathers.
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