What is it about?

Income gaps between Blacks and Whites at the local ZIP-code level is associated with perceived Black-White competition, discrimination, and the perceptions that Blacks and Whites are avoiding each other and feel anxious interacting with each other. Income gaps that are larger and indicative of Whites earning more money predicts greater perceptions that Blacks and Whites are competing, avoid each other, feel anxious around each other, and predicts greater instances of perceived discrimination in one's ZIP-code.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Our findings show that living in a ZIP-code where Blacks earn less money compared to Whites is associated with psychological outcomes, such as greater perceived discrimination and Black-White avoidance. These outcomes are known to have notable effects that could affect individuals in domains such as healthcare and housing. In addition, it is possible that these outcomes can further influence income gaps between Blacks and Whites, which could spiral if ignored. These series of studies are the first to demonstrate that experiencing Black-White income inequality may have adverse psychological consequences.


Writing this article was a very fruitful experience. For starters, this is my first publication, which is exciting in and of itself. More importantly, with the advent of the growing interest on topics like income inequality and racial disparities, I believe this work does a fine job integrating inequality, intergroup competition, and psychological implications. My hope is that researchers continue to incorporate sociodemographic factors as predictors of psychological outcomes in a theoretically grounded fashion. Moreover, work that helps explain how and why inequality affects us is important, especially as inequality continues to grow.

Jonathan Gordils
University of Rochester

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Racial Income Inequality, Perceptions of Competition, and Negative Interracial Outcomes, Social Psychological and Personality Science, April 2019, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/1948550619837003.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page