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Racial Identity and Education

  • Patacchini, Eleonora
  • Zenou, Yves

We investigate the sources of differences in school performance between students of different races by focusing on identity issues. We find that having a higher percentage of same-race friends has a positive effect of white teenagers’ test score while having a negative effect on blacks’ test scores. However, the higher the education level of a black teenager’s parent, the lower this negative effect, while for whites, it is the reverse. It is thus the combination of the choice of friends (which is a measure of own identity) and the parent’s education that are responsible for the difference in education attainment between students of different races but also between students of the same race. One interesting aspects of this paper is to provide a theoretical model that grounds the instrumental variable approach used in the empirical analysis to deal with endogeneity issues.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5607.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5607
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  1. Harminder Battu & McDonald Mwale & Yves Zenou, 2007. "Oppositional identities and the labor market," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 643-667, July.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
  3. David Card & Jesse Rothstein, 2006. "Racial Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 12078, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jacob L. Vigdor, 1997. "The Rise and Decline of the American Ghetto," NBER Working Papers 5881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Derek Neal, 2005. "Why Has Black-White Skill Convergence Stopped?," NBER Working Papers 11090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
  7. Selod, Harris & Zenou, Yves, 2003. "Does City Structure Affect the Labor Market Outcomes of Black Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 928, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  9. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
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