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.
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© 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology