Exploring the Racial Divide in Education and the Labor Market through Evidence from Interracial Families

Friday, October 2, 2015
Peter S. Arcidiacono
Andrew Beauchamp
Marie Hull
Seth Sanders


We examine gaps between minorities and whites in education and labor market outcomes, controlling for many covariates including maternal race. Identification comes from different reported races within the family. Estimates show two distinct patterns. First, there are no significant differences in outcomes between black and white males with white mothers. Second, large differences persist between these groups and black males with black mothers. The patterns are insensitive to alternative measures of own race and school fixed effects. Our results suggest that discrimination is not occurring on the basis of child skin color but through mother-child channels such as dialect or parenting practices.


Peter Arcidiacono, Andrew Beauchamp, Marie Hull, and Seth Sanders, Journal of Human Capital, Summer 2015, 198-238, Vol. 9 No. 2