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The Plight of Mixed-Race Adolescents

  • Roland G. Fryer Jr.

    (Harvard University and NBER)

  • Lisa Kahn

    (Yale School of Management)

  • Steven D. Levitt

    (University of Chicago and American Bar Foundation)

  • Jörg L. Spenkuch

    (University of Chicago)

Since 1970, the fraction of mixed-race black-white births has increased nearly ninefold. This paper describes basic facts about the behaviors and outcomes of black-white mixed-race individuals. Unsurprisingly, on a host of background and achievement characteristics, as well as adult outcomes, mixed-race individuals fall in between whites and blacks. When it comes to engaging in risky and antisocial adolescent behavior, however, mixed-race adolescents are stark outliers compared to both blacks and whites. We argue that these behavioral patterns are most consistent with a two-sector Roy model, in which mixed-race adolescents, not having a predetermined peer group, engage in more risky behaviors in order to be accepted. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00252
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 621-634

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:3:p:621-634
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  1. Roland G. Fryer Jr., 2007. "Guess Who's Been Coming to Dinner? Trends in Interracial Marriage over the 20th Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 71-90, Spring.
  2. Roland G. Fryer, Jr., 2006. "A Model of Social Interactions and Endogenous Poverty Traps," NBER Working Papers 12364, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher Ruebeck, 2007. "Colourism and African–american wealth: evidence from the nineteenth-century south," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 599-620, July.
  4. Fryer, Roland, 2007. "A Model of Social Interactions and Endogenous Poverty Traps," Scholarly Articles 2958480, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Peter Arcidiacono & Patrick Bayer & Aurel Hizmo, 2008. "Beyond Signaling and Human Capital: Education and the Revelation of Ability," NBER Working Papers 13951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roland G. Fryer Jr. & Lisa Kahn & Steven D. Levitt & Jörg L. Spenkuch, 2012. "The Plight of Mixed-Race Adolescents," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 621-634, August.
  7. Fryer Roland & Jackson Matthew O., 2008. "A Categorical Model of Cognition and Biased Decision Making," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-44, February.
  8. Christopher Ruebeck & Susan Averett & Howard Bodenhorn, 2008. "Acting White or Acting Black: Mixed-Race Adolescents' Identity and Behavior," NBER Working Papers 13793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583, May.
  10. Edward Telles & Nelson Lim, 1998. "Does it matter who answers the race question? Racial classification and income inequality in Brazil," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 465-474, November.
  11. Howard Bodenhorn, 2002. "The Complexion Gap: The Economic Consequences of Color among Free African Americans in the Rural Antebellum South," NBER Working Papers 8957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove, 2006. "Education and Labor-Market Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 12257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, And Sacrifice: An Economist'S View Of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953, August.
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