Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis


Department of Education

Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Bernice Garnett


Boston, wealth gap, equity, financial, Massachusetts, policy


The City of Boston has a Black-white wealth gap that is significantly larger than the national wealth gap. The gap stems from historical and political events which have created racial disparities in the socio-economic factors that influence wealth. The wealth gap violates the societal goals of life, safety, liberty, equality, democracy, property, and happiness. This paper explores data on wealth in Boston, describes factors that influence the wealth gap, and analyzes policy options. This analysis demonstrates a need for the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to address the Black-white wealth gap by expanding the existing Boston Saves and BabySteps programs by taxing inheritances and capital gains as income. The policy design criteria outlined in this paper provide a framework that could be used to prioritize equity and societal goals in any policy. Additionally, the findings generated through this process provide a pathway to Black-white wealth equity in the Commonwealth which could be replicated in other cities and states.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.