IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jeborg/v72y2009i1p30-50.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Shedding "light" on marriage: The influence of skin shade on marriage for black females

Author

Listed:
  • Hamilton, Darrick
  • Goldsmith, Arthur H.
  • Darity Jr., William

Abstract

The inter-racial marriage gap that opened in the past 50 years is generally attributed to a decline in the availability of young black marriageable men. We contend that the associated shortage of desirable men in the marriage market provides those black men who are sought after with the opportunity to attain a high status spouse, which has placed a premium on black women with lighter skin. We provide evidence, based on data drawn from the Multi City Study of Urban Inequality, consistent with this hypothesis. Our theoretical analysis of the marriage market reveals that marriage promotion policies to increase the desire to marry on the part of young black women will serve to exacerbate the importance attached to skin shade.

Suggested Citation

  • Hamilton, Darrick & Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Darity Jr., William, 2009. "Shedding "light" on marriage: The influence of skin shade on marriage for black females," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 30-50, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:72:y:2009:i:1:p:30-50
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167-2681(09)00157-7
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heckman, James J & Payner, Brook S, 1989. "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 138-177, March.
    2. William Darity & Darrick Hamilton & Jason Dietrich, 2002. "Passing on blackness: Latinos, race, and earnings in the USA," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(13), pages 847-853.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
    4. Howard Bodenhorn, 2006. "Colorism, Complexion Homogamy, and Household Wealth: Some Historical Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 256-260, May.
    5. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard & Steven Stern, 2006. "Cohabitation, Marriage, And Divorce In A Model Of Match Quality," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(2), pages 451-494, May.
    6. Linda Loury, 2006. "Schooling, Skin Tone, and Attractiveness: Beauty Makes Skin Seem Deep," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0620, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    7. David S. Loughran, 2002. "The Effect Of Male Wage Inequality On Female Age At First Marriage," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 237-250, May.
    8. Joni Hersch, 2008. "Profiling the New Immigrant Worker: The Effects of Skin Color and Height," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 345-386, April.
    9. Peter Gottschalk, 1997. "Inequality, Income Growth, and Mobility: The Basic Facts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 21-40, Spring.
    10. John Bound & Richard B. Freeman, 1992. "What Went Wrong? The Erosion of Relative Earnings and Employment Among Young Black Men in the 1980s," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 201-232.
    11. Donohue, John J, III & Heckman, James, 1991. "Continuous versus Episodic Change: The Impact of Civil Rights Policy on the Economic Status of Blacks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 1603-1643, December.
    12. Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong & Gregory N. Price, 2006. "Crime and Punishment: And Skin Hue Too?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 246-250, May.
    13. William Darity & Jason Dietrich & David K. Guilkey, 2001. "Persistent Advantage or Disadvantage?: Evidence in Support of the Intergenerational Drag Hypothesis," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 435-470, April.
    14. Ellwood, David T & Crane, Jonathan, 1990. "Family Change among Black Americans: What Do We Know?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 65-84, Fall.
    15. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, Jr, 2007. "From Dark to Light: Skin Color and Wages Among African-Americans," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    16. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-1187, December.
    17. Arthur H. Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity Jr, 2006. "Shades of Discrimination: Skin Tone and Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 242-245, May.
    18. Michael J. Brien, 1997. "Racial Differences in Marriage and the Role of Marriage Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 741-778.
    19. Robert Michael & Nancy Tuma, 1985. "Entry into marriage and parenthood by young men and women: The influence of family background," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 22(4), pages 515-544, November.
    20. Ken Burdett & Melvyn G. Coles, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-168.
    21. Darity, William, Jr & Myers, Samuel L, Jr, 1983. "Changes in Black Family Structure: Implications for Welfare Dependency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 59-64, May.
    22. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    23. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
    24. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
    25. Arline T. Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-1214.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Timothy Diette & Arthur Goldsmith & Darrick Hamilton & William Darity, 2015. "Skin Shade Stratification and the Psychological Cost of Unemployment: Is there a Gradient for Black Females?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 155-177, June.
    2. Marcos Rangel, 2015. "Is Parental Love Colorblind? Human Capital Accumulation within Mixed Families," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 57-86, June.
    3. Green, Tiffany L. & Hamilton, Tod G., 2013. "Beyond black and white: Color and mortality in post-reconstruction era North Carolina," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 148-159.
    4. Hermosilla, Manuel & Gutierrez-Navratil, Fernanda & Prieto-Rodriguez, Juan, 2017. "Can Emerging Markets Tilt Global Product Design? Impacts of Chinese Colorism on Hollywood Castings," MPRA Paper 82040, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Cruz Bueno, 2015. "Stratification Economics and Grassroots Development: The Case of Low–Income Black Women Workers in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 35-55, June.
    6. Grossbard, Shoshana & Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto, 2010. "Racial Discrimination and Household Chores," IZA Discussion Papers 5345, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. T. Jerome Utley & William Darity, 2016. "India’s Color Complex: One Day’s Worth of Matrimonials," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(2), pages 129-138, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage Skin shade Race;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:72:y:2009:i:1:p:30-50. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.