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Interracial Friendships in College

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  • Braz Camargo
  • Ralph Stinebrickner
  • Todd R. Stinebrickner

Abstract

Motivated by the reality that the benefits of diversity on a college campus will be mitigated if interracial interactions are scarce or superficial, previous work has strived to document the amount of interracial friendship interaction and to examine whether policy can influence this amount. In this paper we take advantage of unique longitudinal data from the Berea Panel Study to build on this previous literature by providing direct evidence about the amount of interracial friendships at different stages of college and by providing new evidence about some of the possible underlying reasons for the observed patterns of interaction. We find that, while much sorting exists at all stages of college, black and white students are, in reality, very compatible as friends; randomly assigned roommates of different races are as likely to become friends as randomly assigned roommates of the same race. Further, we find that, in the long-run, white students who are randomly assigned black roommates have a significantly larger proportion of black friends than white students who are randomly assigned white roommates, even when the randomly assigned roommates are not included in the calculation of the proportions. This last result contradicts previous findings in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Braz Camargo & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2010. "Interracial Friendships in College," NBER Working Papers 15970, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15970
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "How Do Friendships Form?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119.
    2. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2003. "Working during School and Academic Performance," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 449-472, April.
    3. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban M. Aucejo & Hanming Fang & Kenneth I. Spenner, 2011. "Does affirmative action lead to mismatch? A new test and evidence," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(3), pages 303-333, November.
    4. Johanne Boisjoly & Greg J. Duncan & Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy & Jacque Eccles, 2006. "Empathy or Antipathy? The Impact of Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1890-1905, December.
    5. Jesse Rothstein & Albert Yoon, 2006. "Mismatch in Law School," Working Papers 29, Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
    6. repec:pri:cepsud:123rothstein is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Cornell, Bradford & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Culture, Information, and Screening Discrimination," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(3), pages 542-571, June.
    8. Jesse Rothstein & Albert Yoon, 2006. "Mismatch in Law School," Working Papers 29, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Education Research Section..
    9. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, T.R.Todd R., 2004. "Time-use and college outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 243-269.
    10. Mayer, Adalbert & Puller, Steven L., 2008. "The old boy (and girl) network: Social network formation on university campuses," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-2), pages 329-347, February.
    11. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2007. "Meeting Strangers and Friends of Friends: How Random Are Social Networks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 890-915, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban Aucejo & Andrew Hussey & Kenneth Spenner, 2013. "Racial Segregation Patterns in Selective Universities," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(4), pages 1039-1060.
    2. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2019. "Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(2), pages 399-433.
    3. Nora Gordon & Sarah Reber, 2018. "The effects of school desegregation on mixed-race births," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(2), pages 561-596, April.
    4. Gwen-Jiro Clochard, 2022. "Contact Interventions: A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers 2022-14, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
    5. Peter Hinrichs, 2020. "Affirmative Action and Racial Segregation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63(2), pages 239-267.
    6. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2019. "Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion about Employer Taste-Based Discrimination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(4), pages 602-615, October.
    7. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2018. "Job Tasks and the Gender Wage Gap among College Graduates," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20183, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    8. Tim Conley & Nirav Mehta & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2015. "Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20154, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    9. Luca Paolo Merlino & Max Friedrich Steinhardt & Liam Wren-Lewis, 2019. "More than Just Friends? School Peers and Adult Interracial Relationships," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(3), pages 663-713.
    10. Paluck, Elizabeth Levy & Green, Seth Ariel & Green, Don, 2017. "The contact hypothesis re-evaluated," SocArXiv w2jkf, Center for Open Science.
    11. Peter Arcidiacono & Michael Lovenheim, 2016. "Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Trade-Off," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 3-51, March.
    12. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Erica & Roman, Sara, 2021. "Immigrant peers in the class: responses among natives and the effects on long-run revealed preferences," Working Paper Series 2021:16, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. S. T. Ly & A. Riegert, 2015. "Measuring Social Environment Mobility," Documents de Travail de l'Insee - INSEE Working Papers g2015-04, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques.
    14. Lan Liu & Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen, 2022. "Regression‐based negative control of homophily in dyadic peer effect analysis," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 668-678, June.

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    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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