Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents

Fryer, Roland G. and Levitt, Steven D. and Kahn, Lisa and Spenkuch, Jörg L. (2010): The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents.

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Abstract

Over the past 40 years, the fraction of mixed race black-white births has increased nearly nine-fold. There is very little empirical evidence on how these children fare relative to their single-race counterparts. This paper describes basic facts about the behaviors and outcomes of black-white mixed race individuals. As one might expect, 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 anti-social 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 to be accepted.

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