NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Acting White or Acting Black: Mixed-Race Adolescents' Identity and Behavior

Christopher Ruebeck, Susan Averett, Howard Bodenhorn

NBER Working Paper No. 13793
Issued in February 2008
NBER Program(s):   CH   LS

Although rates of interracial marriage are on the rise, we still know relatively little about the experiences of mixed-race adolescents. In this paper, we examine the identity and behavior of mixed-race (black and white) youth. We find that mixed-race youth adopt both types of behaviors -- those that can be empirically characterized as “black” and those that can be characterized as "white". When we combine both types of behavior, average mixed-race behavior is a combination that is neither white nor black, and the variance in mixed-race behavior is generally greater than the variance in behavior of monoracial adolescents, especially as compared to the black racial group. Adolescence is the time during which there is most pressure to establish an identity, and our results indicate that mixed-race youth are finding their own distinct identities, not necessarily "joining" either monoracial group, but in another sense joining both of them.

download in pdf format
   (1000 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (1000 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13793

Published: Christopher S. Ruebeck & Susan L. Averett & Howard N. Bodenhorn, 2009. "Acting White or Acting Black: Mixed-Race Adolescents' Identity and Behavior," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Berkeley Electronic Press, vol. 9(1). citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Fryer, Kahn, Levitt, and Spenkuch w14192 The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents
Fryer and Torelli w11334 An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'
Bodenhorn and Ruebeck w9962 The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race
Smith and Fryer w9904 The Economics of 'Acting White'
Benjamin, Choi, and Strickland w13309 Social Identity and Preferences
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us