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Interracial Friendships in College

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Abstract

Motivated by the reality that the bene?ts of diversity on a college campus will be mitigated if interracial interactions are scarce or super?cial, 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 fi?nd that, in the long-run, white students who are randomly assigned black roommates have a signi?cantly 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 Stinebrickner, 2010. "Interracial Friendships in College," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20106, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:hcuwoc:20106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. David Marmaros & Bruce Sacerdote, 2006. "How Do Friendships Form?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 79-119.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:pri:cepsud:123rothstein is not listed on IDEAS
    5. 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..
    6. 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.
    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. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, T.R.Todd R., 2004. "Time-use and college outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 243-269.
    9. 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.
    10. 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. Paul Sullivan, "undated". "Job Tasks, Time Allocation, and Wages," Working Papers 2017-03, American University, Department of Economics.
    3. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0662-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Timothy Conley & Nirav Mehta & Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2015. "Social Interactions, Mechanisms, and Equilibrium: Evidence from a Model of Study Time and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 21418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Merlino, Luca Paolo & Steinhardt, Max F. & Wren-Lewis, Liam, 2016. "More than Just Friends? School Peers and Adult Interracial Relationships," IZA Discussion Papers 10319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner & Paul Sullivan, 2017. "Beauty, Job Tasks, and Wages: A New Conclusion About Employer Taste-Based Discrimination," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20175, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    7. 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.
    8. 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.

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    JEL classification:

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

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