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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Racial legacy

 

The White/Black Educational Gap, Stalled Progress, and the Long Term Consequences of the Emergence of Crack Cocaine Markets

William Evans, Craig Garthwaite & Timothy Moore
NBER Working Paper, October 2012

Abstract:
We propose the rise of crack cocaine markets as an explanation for the end to the convergence in black-white educational outcomes beginning in the mid-1980s. After constructing a measure to date the arrival of crack markets in cities and states, we show large increases in murder and incarceration rates after these dates. Black high school graduation rates also decline, and we estimate that crack markets accounts for between 40 and 73 percent of the fall in black male high school graduation rates. We argue that the primary mechanism is reduced educational investments in response to decreased returns to schooling.

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Depleting Capital? Race, Wealth and Informal Financial Assistance

Rourke O'Brien
Social Forces, forthcoming

Abstract:
Recent work suggests that part of the racial gap in wealth is explained by racial differences in network poverty. In this article, data from the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances and the 2005 and 2007 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) are used to demonstrate that middle- and upper-income blacks are more likely to provide informal financial assistance than their white counterparts. Further, a lagged model using the PSID finds that this difference in financial assistance can account for part of the racial gap in wealth. An empirically useful definition of negative social capital is developed to illustrate how obligations of group membership can have stratifying consequences for individuals.

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Northward Migration and the Rise of Racial Disparity in American Incarceration, 1880-1950

Christopher Muller
American Journal of Sociology, September 2012, Pages 281-326

Abstract:
Of all facets of American racial inequality studied by social scientists, racial disparity in incarceration has proved one of the most difficult to explain. This article traces a portion of the rise of racial inequality in incarceration in northern and southern states to increasing rates of African-American migration to the North between 1880 and 1950. It employs three analytical strategies. First, it introduces a decomposition to assess the relative contributions of geographic shifts in the population and regional changes in the incarceration rate to the increase in racial disparity. Second, it estimates the effect of the rate of white and nonwhite migration on the change in the white and nonwhite incarceration rates of the North. Finally, it uses macro- and microdata to evaluate the mechanisms proposed to explain this effect.

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Is There A (Transracial) Adoption Achievement Gap? A National Longitudinal Analysis of Adopted Children's Educational Performance

Elizabeth Raleigh & Grace Kao
Children and Youth Services Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
In one of the first longitudinal population-based studies examining adopted children's educational achievement, we analyze whether there is a test-score gap between children in adoptive families and children in biological families. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, we find in aggregate adopted children have lower reading and math scores than their counterparts living in biological families. Yet there is significant variation among adoptive families by their race and health status. On one hand adoptive parents tend to be White and have more economic capital than their non-adoptive counterparts potentially contributing to educational advantages. However adopted children are also more likely to have special educational needs, contributing to greater educational disadvantages. Untangling these variables through a multivariate regression analysis, we find that transracially adopted children have similar test scores to White children living with biological parents. We point to the interaction between race, family resources and children's health status and how these characteristics differentially shape achievement outcomes for adopted children.

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Do mothers' educational expectations differ by race and ethnicity, or socioeconomic status?

Youngmi Kim, Michael Sherraden & Margaret Clancy
Economics of Education Review, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research has linked parents' educational expectations to children's educational attainment, but findings are inconsistent regarding differences in educational expectations by race and ethnicity. In addition, existing studies have focused on school-age children and their parents. In this study, we use a state representative sample to examine educational expectations among mothers of newborn children. Bivariate association tests for individual racial groups and logistic regressions for the full sample are conducted (weighted N = 2,567). These investigate variation in mothers' educational expectations by race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The study finds that non-Hispanic Whites hold higher educational expectations for their children than do African Americans, American Indians, and Hispanics. However, these differences by race and ethnicity disappear when the models control for demographic and socioeconomic measures. Among the economic measures, financial assets and health insurance coverage are significantly associated with maternal educational expectations. Implications for research and policy are discussed.

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Slavery and African American Family Stability, 1860-1880

Deirdre Bloome & Christopher Muller
Harvard Working Paper, May 2012

Abstract:
The origin of African Americans' relatively low marriage rate is often traced to conditions undermining family formation during slavery. We focus instead on transformations in African American marriage following abolition. Immediately following the Civil War, Southern legislatures rushed to recognize African American marriages. They reversed the legal status of African American unions --- from strictly forbidden to encouraged and even mandated for cohabiting couples in some jurisdictions --- to secure control over the new workforce via family labor contracts and to reduce rates of child dependency. We find evidence that reliance on slave labor bolstered African American marriage after emancipation. We estimate large, positive effects of Southern counties' involvement in slavery in 1860, instrumented by their territorial suitability for cotton production, on their African American marriage rates in 1880. These results are robust to comparisons with white marriage rates and are confirmed by analysis of microdata tracing individuals' marital transitions.

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Race in Media Coverage of School Shootings: A Parallel Application of Framing Theory and Attribute Agenda Setting

Sung-Yeon Park, Kyle Holody & Xiaoqun Zhang
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, September 2012, Pages 475-494

Abstract:
This study investigated news media coverage of the race of the perpetrator in the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, using agenda-setting and framing perspectives. More than one-third of newspaper articles contained racial information. The agenda-setting analysis enabled comparison with coverage of the Columbine shootings, in which race was virtually absent; framing analysis revealed that the media framed the VT incident around the perpetrator's ethnicity and generalized criminal culpability to his ethnic group. Racial and ethnic references were also sometimes displayed in prominent positions.

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School Segregation, Educational Attainment and Crime: Evidence from the end of busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Stephen Billings, David Deming & Jonah Rockoff
NBER Working Paper, October 2012

Abstract:
We study the impact of the end of race-based busing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools ("CMS") on academic achievement, educational attainment, and young adult crime. In 2001, CMS was prohibited from using race in assigning students to schools. School boundaries were redrawn dramatically to reflect the surrounding neighborhoods, and half of its students received a new assignment. Using addresses measured prior to the policy change, we compare students in the same neighborhood that lived on opposite sides of a newly drawn boundary. We find that both white and minority students score lower on high school exams when they are assigned to schools with more minority students. We also find decreases in high school graduation and four-year college attendance for whites, and large increases in crime for minority males. The impacts on achievement and attainment are smaller in younger cohorts, while the impact on crime remains large and persistent for at least nine years after the re-zoning. We show that compensatory resource allocation policies in CMS likely played an important role in mitigating the impact of segregation on achievement and attainment, but had no impact on crime. We conclude that the end of busing widened racial inequality, despite efforts by CMS to mitigate the impact of increases in segregation.

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Fitting In: Segregation, Social Class, and the Experiences of Black Students at Selective Colleges and Universities

Kimberly Torres & Douglas Massey
Race and Social Problems, December 2012, Pages 171-192

Abstract:
We analyzed qualitative data gathered at a selective urban university with a large black student body. We found that black students from integrated backgrounds welcomed the chance to establish friendships with same-race peers even though they were at ease in white settings, whereas students from segregated backgrounds saw same-race peers as a source of comfort and refuge from a white world often perceived as hostile. These contrasting perceptions set up both groups for shock upon matriculation. Students from an integrated background were better prepared academically and socially, but were unfamiliar with urban black culture and uncomfortable interacting with students of lower class standing. Students from a segregated background were surprised to find they had little in common with more affluent students from integrated backgrounds. Although both groups were attracted to campus for the same reason - to interact with a critical mass of same-race peers - their contrasting expectations produced a letdown as the realities of intraracial diversity set in.

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Exploring the Divergent Academic Outcomes of U.S.-Origin and Immigrant-Origin Black Undergraduates

Jesse Tauriac & Joan Liem
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, forthcoming

Abstract:
To explore the divergent academic experiences and outcomes of U.S.-origin and immigrant-origin Black Americans, we drew on Tinto's (1993) model of persistence to test a 3-wave longitudinal model of college persistence using path analysis. Our sample comprised 101 ethnically diverse Black students who were randomly selected from 9 public high schools in the metropolitan Boston area and went on to matriculate at 32 different, predominantly White colleges and universities. Specifically, we compared U.S.-origin and immigrant-origin Black undergraduates' reported college social support/social integration and academic integration and measured the influence of these factors (as well as high school grades and socioeconomic status [SES]) on college persistence 2 years later. As predicted, and consistent with previous studies, immigrant-origin Black students academically outperformed their U.S.-origin Black counterparts, earning significantly higher high school grades and demonstrating greater persistence in college. However, when the effects of high school grades and SES on college persistence were included in a multivariate path model together with immigration status and college social and academic integration, immigration status no longer predicted college persistence. Neither social nor academic integration predicted college persistence, within the path model, as hypothesized, but social integration did predict academic integration as expected. In separate correlational analyses, academic integration and SES were associated with college persistence for U.S.-origin Black students, but this was not the case for immigrant-origin Black students. We discuss the implications of these findings for fostering greater success among diverse Black undergraduates.

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Why did so many German doctors join the Nazi Party early?

Omar Haque et al.
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, forthcoming

Abstract:
During the Weimar Republic in the mid-twentieth century, more than half of all German physicians became early joiners of the Nazi Party, surpassing the party enrollments of all other professions. From early on, the German Medical Society played the most instrumental role in the Nazi medical program, beginning with the marginalization of Jewish physicians, proceeding to coerced "experimentation," "euthanization," and sterilization, and culminating in genocide via the medicalization of mass murder of Jews and others caricatured and demonized by Nazi ideology. Given the medical oath to "do no harm," many postwar ethical analyses have strained to make sense of these seemingly paradoxical atrocities. Why did physicians act in such a manner? Yet few have tried to explain the self-selected Nazi enrollment of such an overwhelming proportion of the German Medical Society in the first place. This article lends insight into this paradox by exploring some major vulnerabilities, motives, and rationalizations that may have predisposed German physicians to Nazi membership - professional vulnerabilities among physicians in general (valuing conformity and obedience to authority, valuing the prevention of contamination and fighting against mortality, and possessing a basic interest in biomedical knowledge and research), economic factors and motives (related to physician economic insecurity and incentives for economic advancement), and Nazi ideological and historical rationalizations (beliefs about Social Darwinism, eugenics, and the social organism as sacred). Of particular significance for future research and education is the manner in which the persecution of Jewish physician colleagues was rationalized in the name of medical ethics itself. Giving proper consideration to the forces that fueled "Nazi Medicine" is of great importance, as it can highlight the conditions and motivations that make physicians susceptible to misapplications of medicine, and guide us toward prevention of future abuse.

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Health Advantages of Ethnic Density for African American and Mexican American Elderly Individuals

Kimberly Alvarez & Becca Levy
American Journal of Public Health, forthcoming

Abstract:
Research suggests that greater ethnic density correlates with worse health among African Americans but better health among Hispanic Americans. These conflicting patterns may arise from Hispanic American samples being older than African American samples. We found that among 2367 Mexican American and 2790 African American participants older than 65 years, ethnic density predicted lower rates of cardiovascular disease and cancer, adjusting for covariates, showing that the health benefits of ethnic density apply to both minority communities.

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Exploring Neighborhood Effects on Health and Life Satisfaction: Disentangling Neighborhood Racial Density and Neighborhood Income

Amanda Roy, Diane Hughes & Hirokazu Yoshikawa
Race and Social Problems, December 2012, Pages 193-204

Abstract:
This study examines the independent and synergistic influences of neighborhood racial density and neighborhood income on several indicators of health status and life satisfaction in a sample of 311 adult African Americans living in New York City. This is made possible by the two-stage sampling procedure that was used in the collection of the data, ensuring that respondents' neighborhoods vary on both racial density and income. Findings from a series of OLS regression models that adjust standard errors to account for the non-independence of observations demonstrate that neighborhood income moderates the relationship between racial density and health and life satisfaction. When neighborhood income is low, high neighborhood racial density is detrimental for health and life satisfaction. However, when neighborhood income is high, neighborhood racial density is protective for health and life satisfaction. These results indicate that the role of neighborhood income needs to be considered when examining the relationship between neighborhood racial density, health, and life satisfaction. Moreover, these findings may provide insight for understanding the past conflicting results.

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Defining America's Racial Boundaries: Blacks, Mexicans, and European Immigrants, 1890-1945

Cybelle Fox & Thomas Guglielmo
American Journal of Sociology, September 2012, Pages 327-379

Abstract:
Contemporary race and immigration scholars often rely on historical analogies to help them analyze America's current and future color lines. If European immigrants became white, they claim, perhaps today's immigrants can as well. But too often these scholars ignore ongoing debates in the historical literature about America's past racial boundaries. Meanwhile, the historical literature is itself needlessly muddled. In order to address these problems, the authors borrow concepts from the social science literature on boundaries to systematically compare the experiences of blacks, Mexicans, and southern and eastern Europeans (SEEs) in the first half of the 20th century. Their findings challenge whiteness historiography; caution against making broad claims about the reinvention, blurring, or shifting of America's color lines; and suggest that the Mexican story might have more to teach us about these current and future lines than the SEE one.

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Segregation and Tiebout Sorting: The Link between Place-Based Investments and Neighborhood Tipping

Spencer Banzhaf & Randall Walsh
Journal of Urban Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
Segregation has been a recurring social concern throughout human history. While much progress has been made to our understanding of the mechanisms driving segregation, work to date has ignored the role played by location-specific amenities. Nonetheless, policy remedies for reducing group inequity often involve place-based investments in minority communities. In this paper, we introduce an exogenous location-specific public good into a model of group segregation. We characterize the equilibria of the model and derive the comparative statics of improvements to the local public goods. We show that the dynamics of neighborhood tipping depend on the levels of public goods. We also show that investments in low-public good communities can actually increase segregation.

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The source of Black-White inequality in early language acquisition: Evidence from Early Head Start

Daniel Kreisman
Social Science Research, November 2012, Pages 1429-1450

Abstract:
I compare language learning trajectories for Black and White children over the first 3 years of life using data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation study (EHSRE) in order to determine the timing and source of divergence in early language skill. Results indicate that that while controlling for racial differences in family background and a measure of the home language environment cannot entirely account for disparities in language acquisition, interactions between age, race and maternal education, and between race and a time-varying measure of the home language environment play a significant role. I show that returns to parental education and the home language environment, in terms of language learning, are higher for White children than their Black peers. Specification checks confirm that these results are robust to alternate definitions of child language and the home language environment, and that no interactions between race, age and any of the other covariates are significant. I discuss possible explanations for these race specific education gradients, including measurement error and test bias. In addition, I address relevant empirical issues in estimating language growth with respect to linguistic inputs and the home language environment.

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Social Capital and Ethno-racial Diversity: Learning to Trust in an Immigrant Society

Dietlind Stolle & Allison Harell
Political Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article builds on the insights of the contact hypothesis and political socialization literatures to go beyond recent findings that racial and ethnic diversity have overwhelmingly negative effects on social capital, particularly generalized trust. Using the Canadian General Social Survey (2003), our results show that despite a negative relationship among adults, younger Canadians with racial and ethnic diversity in their social networks show higher levels of generalized trust. The results seem to confirm that youth socialization experiences with rising diversity and the normalization of diversity in a multicultural environment contribute to beneficial (instead of detrimental) effects of diverse social networks.

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Conspicuous Consumption and "Race": Evidence from South Africa

Wolfhard Kaus
Journal of Development Economics, January 2013, Pages 63-73

Abstract:
A century ago, Thorstein Veblen introduced socially contingent consumption into the economic literature. This paper complements the scarce empirical literature by testing his conjecture on South African household data and finds that Black and Coloured households spend relatively more on visible consumption than comparable White households. Following the approach of Charles et al. (2009), this paper explores whether the differences in visible expenditures can be explained with a signaling model of status seeking. Moreover, it is assessed to which extent positional concerns motivate conspicuous consumption. Although the socially contingent share in visible consumption increases with income, different incentives to consume conspicuously seem to explain that, at every level of income, Black households spend relatively more on visible consumption than comparable White households. In contrast to the findings of Charles et al. (2009) where differential spending on conspicuous consumption can be found also within each group separately, the model's core hypothesis fails to hold within the group of White South Africans.

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Cooperation Dynamics in a Multiethnic Society: A Case Study from Tamil Nadu

Timothy Waring
Current Anthropology, October 2012, Pages 642-649

Abstract:
The importance of ethnic diversity in determining social outcomes and reducing generalized cooperation is increasingly well documented. Theory suggests that cooperation in human groups may depend on reciprocal altruism and frequency of contact, yet these factors have not been linked with ethnic diversity. This study explores how fine-scale components of cooperation - social exclusivity and reciprocity - relate to broad-scale social conditions - ethnic diversity and ethnic stratification - in villages in Tamil Nadu's Palani hills. Both ethnic diversity and ethnic stratification are associated with declines in indirect reciprocity, although stratification has a larger effect. In addition, stratification is linked to increased social exclusivity. Moreover, measures of direct reciprocity in the form of agricultural labor exchanges are uncorrelated with both diversity and stratification. These results imply (1) that ethnic stratification is more detrimental to cooperation than is ethnic diversity, (2) that social exclusivity and ethnic stratification are mutually reinforcing, and (3) that direct reciprocity is more robust to cooperative failure across ethnic boundaries than is indirect reciprocity. These results confirm and extend current theory of human cooperative regimes and may be of value for community development in multiethnic settings.

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Limitations of Combining Hispanics and African Americans for Analysis of Credit Problems

Jonghee Lee & Sherman Hanna
Journal of Consumer Affairs, Fall 2012, Pages 506-536

Abstract:
This study uses a combination of six Survey of Consumer Finances data sets to examine whether factors affecting credit delinquency differ by the racial/ethnic identity of households. Hispanic households are less likely than white households and white households are less likely than African American households to be delinquent. Our full model with interaction terms shows that the effects of financially adverse events, financial buffers and debt burden on the debt delinquency differ across racial/ethnic groups. Combining African American and Hispanic households into one racial/ethnic minority group as previous studies have done can be problematic.

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The Need for Interventions to Prevent Skin Bleaching: A Look at Tanzania

Kelly Lewis et al.
Journal of Black Studies, October 2012, Pages 787-805

Abstract:
The practice of skin bleaching, or chemically lightening the skin, has become more common worldwide in the past 30 years. In Africa, the practice is especially problematic, because caustic ingredients are combined with bleaching products, increasing the risk for health problems, such as irreversible skin damage, cancers, and liver or kidney failure. Despite these risks, skin bleaching remains prevalent, with rates nearing 30% in East Africa. The few interventions implemented to prevent skin bleaching show marginal success in decreasing these numbers. This study takes steps to identify the most effective means of prevention for a Tanzanian community where skin bleaching practices are prevalent. A team of 20 Tanzanians worked toward this goal using participatory research techniques. Results yielded components for the structure of an ideal intervention program, including (a) didactic education, (b) governmental action, and (c) educational media. Implications for practice, policy, and research are discussed.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM