The plight of mixed-race adolescents

Roland G. Fryer, Lisa Kahn, Steven D. Levitt, Jörg L. Spenkuch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Since 1970, the fraction of mixed-race black-white births has increased nearly ninefold. This paper describes basic facts about the behaviors and outcomes of black-white mixed-race individuals. Unsurprisingly, 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 antisocial 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 in order to be accepted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-634
Number of pages14
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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