(Reuters) – Racial and ethnic inequalities have cost the US economy some $ 51 trillion in lost production since 1990, San Francisco Federal Reserve Chairman Mary Daly said on Wednesday, citing data from an article that she and three co-authors will present to the Brookings Institution.

Large and persistent gaps in employment, education and income rates between races “add to a smaller economic pie for the nation as a whole,” Daly said in a briefing ahead of the release from the newspaper Thursday.

“The imperative of fairness, to close some of these gaps, is not only moral, but also economic.”

The document describes what the GDP would have been had there not been a gap in the labor market.

The employment of black men, for example, is consistently lower than that of men of other races.

The incomes of black and Hispanic workers are also lower than those of whites.

Daly and his co-authors calculated what the gains to GDP would be if these and other race-based gaps were erased: if black and Hispanic men and women occupied the same rates as whites, if they completed their college education at the same rates as whites, and whether they earned the same as whites.

From work alone, they thought, the gains would amount to $ 22.9 trillion over the thirty years from 1990 to 2019, with larger gains in recent years as the share of non-white populations has increased. increased while the spreads remained fairly stable.

The higher estimate of $ 51.2 trillion takes into account the increase in capital investment that a more productive labor pool could trigger, Daly said, and includes nothing $ 2.57 trillion. than in 2019.

The article was written with Shelby Buckman, graduate student at Stanford University, Lily Seitelman, graduate of Boston University, and Laura Choi, vice president of community development at the San Francisco Fed.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; editing by Richard Pullin)

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