NPR's Tell Me More discusses the findings of The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood. This book joins Race and the Invisible Hand: How White Networks Exclude Black Men from Blue-Collar Jobs in showing that social networks are a key mechanism by which low-income and less-educated whites find jobs. Similar blacks are largely excluded from these networks, and, thus, they do poorly in the labor market.
From the description of The Long Shadow: "white men in the study, despite attaining less education on average, were more likely to be employed than any other group due to family connections and long-standing racial biases in Baltimore’s industrial economy."
. . . the considerable economic progress among black men between 1940 and 1980 has halted, and in many cases reversed. A major driver of this shift has been the rise of more punitive treatments for criminal offenders, resulting in skyrocketing incarceration rates. These changes "have had a much larger impact on black communities than white communities because arrest rates have historically been much greater for blacks than whites," the authors write. [Read more]