Baby Bonds Resources

Media Highlights

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Why This Economist Wants to Give Every Poor Child $50,000 (podcast with transcript)
June 23, 2023

Founding Director Darrick Hamilton converses with Ezra Klein about how policy shapes the structure of wealth in the U.S., and how tools like Baby Bonds can be used to foster economic and racial equity.


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A 'Birthright to Capital': An Economist Makes the Case for 'Baby Bonds' (video)
April 29, 2022

Founding Director Darrick Hamilton speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about the power and promise of Baby Bonds.


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Economist Hamilton on Baby Bonds and the Wealth Gap (video from Bloomberg Equality Summit)
March 22, 2022

Founding Director Darrick Hamilton discusses the racial wealth gap and his proposal for Baby Bonds with Bloomberg’s Ben Steverman at the Bloomberg Equality Summit.


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A Once Radical Idea to Close the Wealth Gap Is Actually Happening
March 17, 2022

In this award-winning profile for Bloomberg, Founding Director Darrick Hamilton explains his pioneering idea—Baby Bonds—and the ways in which U.S. governments are embracing and implementing this “once radical idea."


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How "Baby Bonds" Could Help Close the Wealth Gap (video)
September 2018

In this TED Talk, Founding Director Darrick Hamilton discusses how economic security has less to do with what we do and more to do with the wealth position we're born into, and the role Baby Bonds can play in reducing inequality.


Partner Resources

Aspen Institute 

The Case for Early Wealth Building Accounts (March 2023)

Toward A National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (January 2023)

Connecticut Voices for Children

Supporting the Economic Well-Being of Connecticut's Families and Children: An Overview of CT Baby Bonds (January 2024)

Supporting the Economic Well-Being of Connecticut's Families and Children: An Overview of CT Baby Bonds Executive Summary (January 2024)

This report provides an overview of economic well-being, outlining the level of support that Connecticut’s families and children require and the urgency of providing that support, and an overview of CT Baby Bonds, including its design and impact and policy options to improve the program.

2023 Legislative Summary (June 2023)

This high-level review of bills supported by Connecticut Voices for Children during the 2023 legislative session includes details about the Connecticut Baby Bonds Trust. 

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute)

Take Action to Improve Health: Baby Bonds (September 2023)

The CHR&R program provides data, evidence, guidance, and examples to build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health and support leaders in growing community power to improve health equity. The Rankings are unique in their ability to measure the health of nearly every county in all 50 states, and are complemented by guidance, tools, and resources designed to accelerate community learning and action.

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston & John T. Gorman Foundation

The Importance of Wealth to Family Well-Being (May 2023)

Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Exploring Baby Bonds as a Tool to Improve Economic Security (September 27, 2022)

Hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, this 2022 event featured Founding Director Darrick Hamilton and Senior Advisor Amara Enyia in a series of remarks and conversations exploring the intersection of baby bonds with health, wealth, housing, and education.

Institute for New Economic Thinking

The Baby Formula (February 2024)

In this short video, Institute Founding Director Darrick Hamilton explains how Baby Bonds are more than policy, they're an investment in human potential.

Prosperity Now 

A Brighter Future with Baby Bonds: How States and Cities Should Invest in Our Kids (January 2022)

Released in partnership with the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy, this paper provides guidance and context for elected officials, policymakers, and advocates to help them craft effective state- and local-level Baby Bonds proposals.

Baby Bonds: Landmark Legislation to Address the Growing Racial Wealth Divide (February 2023)

This brief provides a short overview of the American Opportunity Accounts Act, often called the “Baby Bonds Bill,” introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-7).

A Birthright to Capital: Equitably Designing Baby Bonds to Promote Economic and Racial Justice (February 2020)

Co-authored by Founding Director Darrick Hamilton, this paper outlines the case for why the U.S. government should provide an account, with up to $60,000 held in public trust, to every one of the four million children born each year in the United States, and why this economic right to wealth, often referred to as a Baby Bond or a Baby Trust, should be calibrated to the economic position of a child’s family.

Urban Institute 

What Do We Know About Baby Bonds? (August 2023)

This 2023 report provides a literature review of three simulation studies that model the potential impacts of baby bonds, with a focus on outcomes relating to racial wealth equity. The authors also review the literature of related early life wealth-building programs (e.g., child development accounts) to assess outcomes that may be achievable with baby bonds policies.

The State of Baby Bonds (February 2023)

This early 2023 brief includes a useful overview of the current policy environment, Baby Bonds implementation and impact, and a state-by-state report on progress.

Baby Bonds in Context: A Systems Approach to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap (August 3, 2022)

In 2022, Urban Institute hosted this discussion on Baby Bonds initiatives, policy progress, and implementation strategies. 

As Baby Bonds Gain Momentum, States Must Grapple with These Four Implementation Questions (July 11, 2022)

This blog provides a useful breakdown of the four primary implementation questions being addressed in states where Baby Bonds legislation is gaining traction.


Research Articles

JAMA Internal Medicine
Wealth Redistribution to Extend Longevity in the U.S.
January 29, 2024

This research article published by Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein and co-authors used modeling to show that Baby Bonds could "markedly narrow the racial mortality gap" by increasing overall American life expectancy at midlife by one year and increasing longevity for the poorest Americans by 6.4 years.

The Review of Black Political Economy
Universal Baby Bonds Reduce Black-White Wealth Inequality, Progressively Raise Net Worth of All Young Adults
November 6, 2019

Published in The Review of Black Political Economy, this 2019 research article by Institute partner Dr. Naomi Zwede highlights the impact Baby Bonds might have had if implemented 20 years ago.

The Review of Black Political Economy
Can 'Baby Bonds' Eliminate the Racial Wealth Gap in Putative Post-Racial America?
January 1, 2010

In this seminal research article, Founding Director Darrick Hamilton and William Darity, Jr. outline the Baby Bonds model as an innovative policy tool to address the racial wealth gap.


Books

MIT Press
The Myth That Made Us
September 2023

Authored by Jeff Fuhrer, an economist, former senior leader at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and currently a Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution, this book examines how false narratives about the role of race and “the self-made man” have been used to create and condone an economy that doesn’t work for everyone. Outlining a path forward, Fuhrer highlights Baby Bonds as part of a suite of solutions that can help address the accumulated loss of wealth among Black people and other groups. Fuhrer credits Dr. Darrick Hamilton for expanding his thinking that there’s more to the wealth gap than income, savings, and hard work.

Seal Press
Black Women, Black Love: America's War on African American Marriage
October 2020

Authored by Dianne Stewart, this book discusses Baby Bonds as an important policy consideration to counter the effects of centuries of oppressive law, policy, and customs on Black love and marriage in the U.S.