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Intergenerational Transmission of Race: Permeable Boundaries between 1970 and 2010

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  • Carolyn A. Liebler
  • Marie DeRousse-Wu

Abstract

We study the social construction of race boundaries by investigating patterns in the race, ancestry, and Mexican origin responses provided for children of 14 types of interracial marriages using dense restricted-use data from 1970 to 2010. Our broader purpose is to expose social processes that convert a newborn child of mixed heritage into an adult person of a particular race. We include a more diverse set of families, a longer time span, and more accurate estimates than prior research. These expansions bear fruit.Taking ancestry responses into account and studying the longer-term patterns reveals that mixed-heritage responses have been common since 1980. Expanding the types of mixed heritage and including double-minorities shows that there is substantial variation in response patterns across the 14 groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Carolyn A. Liebler & Marie DeRousse-Wu, 2012. "Intergenerational Transmission of Race: Permeable Boundaries between 1970 and 2010," Working Papers 12-24, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:12-24
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2012/CES-WP-12-24.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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