Why Do Only 5.5% of Black Men Marry White Women?


Empirical Micro Seminar Money Macro Seminar
University of Pennsylvania

3718 Locust Walk
395 McNeil

Philadelphia, PA

United States

Only 5.5 percent of black males married white females in 1990, and at the same time 7 percent family-income premium was observed for intermarried black males. This paper estimates the impact of the mating taboo, courting opportunities, and individual endowments on the black male marriage market. Results indicate that eliminating the mating taboo would raise the intermarriage rate from 5.37 to 64 percent, and do away with the intermarriage premium. Improving black males’ endowments or allowing black males to meet white females as frequently as they do black females would not increase intermarriage.

For more information, contact Jere Behrman.

Linda Y. Wong

University of Pennsylvania

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