Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Racial Disparities in Life Insurance Coverage

Harris, Timothy and Yelowitz, Aaron (2015): Racial Disparities in Life Insurance Coverage.

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Abstract

We evaluate the extent to which there are racial disparities in life insurance coverage using multiple years of the Survey of Income and Program Participation between 2001 and 2010. We find that African-Americans hold significantly more life insurance after controlling for other factors, especially employer-sponsored and whole life insurance. We demonstrate that our findings diverge from prior work because we examine all households instead of focusing exclusively on married and cohabitating households. The findings on life insurance coverage and composition imply that earnings shocks due to mortality are not a contributing factor to racial disparities in wealth.

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