Abstract

This article examines competing theoretical claims regarding how an individual's education will affect his or her likelihood of interracial marriage. I demonstrate that prior models of interracial marriage have failed to adequately distinguish the joint and marginal effects of education on interracial marriage and present a model capable of distinguishing these effects. I test this model on black-white interracial marriages using 1980, 1990, and 2000 U.S. census data. The results reveal partial support for status exchange theory within black male–white female unions and strong isolation of lower-class blacks from the interracial marriage market. Structural assimilation theory is not supported because the educational attainment of whites is not related in any consistent fashion to the likelihood of interracial marriage. The strong isolation of lower-class blacks from the interracial marriage market has gone unnoticed in prior research because of the failure of prior methods to distinguish joint and marginal effects.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1533-7790
Print ISSN
0070-3370
Pages
pp. 673-689
Launched on MUSE
2006-11-06
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2010
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