61 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1777 (2004)
The Economics of Race: When Making It to the Middle Is Not Enough

handle is hein.journals/waslee61 and id is 1789 raw text is: The Economics of Race: When Making It to
the Middle Is Not Enough
Elizabeth Warren*
Table of Contents
I.  Introduction  ................................................................................ 1778
II. Background-Bankruptcy and the Middle Class ........................ 1780
Ill. A More Vulnerable Middle Class ............................................... 1786
IV. The Racial Divide in Homeownership ........................................ 1787
*   Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School. I am grateful to Professors
Dorothy Brown, Mechele Dickerson, and David Wilkins for their strong encouragement that I
take on this work. I appreciate the help of Amelia Tyagi, who assisted in the statistical analysis
and race weighting; Alexander Warren, who provided the data analysis; and Randi Segatore,
who assembled the figures from the raw data.
The original data cited in this paper is from the 2001 Consumer Bankruptcy Project.
Grants from the Ford Foundation, Harvard Law School, and New York University Law School
funded this project. The enthusiastic support and assistance of many bankruptcy judges,
bankruptcy clerks, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 trustees and attorneys also contributed
significantly to this work. The principal investigators express their sincere gratitude to the
organizations that provided financial support and to each of the judges, clerks, trustees, and
lawyers who made this research possible. I owe a special debt of gratitude to the Fellowship
Program at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Institute made completion of the
basic research possible by providing the time to write-a gift of immeasurable significance.
None of the sponsors is responsible for the content or the interpretation of this Essay.
No project of this kind could be put together without the contribution of a number of
people. Consumer Bankruptcy Project I, in 1981, and Consumer Bankruptcy Project I, in 1991,
was the work of Professors Teresa A. Sullivan, Elizabeth Warren, and Jay Lawrence Westbrook,
all of whom have continued their work into Consumer Bankruptcy Project III. In addition,
Professors David Himmelstein, Bruce Markell, Michael Schill, Susan Wachter, and Steffie
Woolhandler have shared in the design and development of the study. Professors Katherine
Porter, John Pottow, and Deborah Thorne served as Project Director at different times,
participating in the design of the study, and managing much of the data collection. Cathy Ellis
and Ann de Ville provided extraordinary administrative support, and Alexander Warren
designed and managed all the coding databases. We are collectively grateful for the
contributions of each person.

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