Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration

  • C. Matthew Snipp
  • Tomas Jimenez
  • Linda Burton
  • Hazel Markus
  • Douglas Massey
  • Marybeth Mattingly

Leaders: Linda Burton, Tomás Jiménez, Hazel Markus, Douglas Massey, Marybeth Mattingly, C. Matthew Snipp

The CPI has an extensive research program on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty. The National Poverty Study, for example, is designed to rigorously compare differences across rural black, deindustrialized, reservation, and other “racialized” poverty forms. The CPI also runs a comprehensive program on Hispanic poverty that explores such topics as the “chilling effect” of anti-immigrant laws on program use, the reasons why, contrary to much speculation, the Hispanic poverty rate has not taken off, and the causes of the so-called Hispanic Health Paradox (see, for example, our Pathways Magazine special report on poverty, inequality, and mobility among Hispanics). And one of the CPI’s most distinguished affiliates, Jennifer Eberhardt (who is on the CPI directorate), is carrying out a groundbreaking big-data analysis of policing and race. We list below a sampling of other CPI projects on race, ethnicity, immigration, and poverty.

Poverty among refugees: The U.S. refugee population faces very high rates of poverty, yet we know very little about the effects of different resettlement programs and approaches. There are efforts afoot to exploit available administrative data and begin to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Arrests, race, and poverty: Why are some arrests resolved informally while others are converted into a criminal record that then has a life-long scarring effect? The process of converting an arrest into a criminal booking may play an important role in generating downstream racial disparities.

Reducing the race gap in test scores: The new Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) is a rich resource that is providing the most systematic evidence to date on the capacity of school-district policies to reduce the racial gap in test scores.

Poverty and schooling on reservations: Why are test scores and educational outcomes on Native reservations so low (relative to the national average)? In a new project by the noted ethnographer Martin Sánchez-Jankowski, we’ll be learning more about how traditional and formal education are viewed and the ways in which they might be better integrated. 

Race And Ethnicity - CPI Research

Title Author Media
Unpacking the Drivers of Racial Disparities in School Suspension and Expulsion Jayanti Owens, Sara S. McLanahan

Unpacking the Drivers of Racial Disparities in School Suspension and Expulsion

Author: Jayanti Owens, Sara S. McLanahan
Publisher: Social Forces
Date: 06/2019

School suspension and expulsion are important forms of punishment that disproportionately affect Black students, with long-term consequences for educational attainment and other indicators of wellbeing. Prior research identifies three mechanisms that help account for racial disparities in suspension and expulsion: between-school sorting, differences in student behaviors, and differences in the treatment and support of students with similar behaviors. We extend this literature by (1) comparing the contributions of these three mechanisms in a single study, (2) assessing behavior and school composition when children enter kindergarten and before most are exposed to school discipline, and (3) using both teacher and parent reports of student behaviors. Decomposition analyses reveal that differential treatment and support account for 46 percent of the Black/White gap in suspension/expulsion, while between-school sorting and differences in behavior account for 21 percent and 9 percent of the gap respectively. Results are similar for boys and girls and robust to the use of school fixed effects and measures of school composition and student behavior at ages 5 and 9. Theoretically, our findings highlight differential treatment/support after children enter school as an important but understudied mechanism in the early criminalization of Black students.

State of the Union 2019: Racial and Gender Identities Sasha Shen Johfre, Aliya Saperstein

State of the Union 2019: Racial and Gender Identities

Author: Sasha Shen Johfre, Aliya Saperstein
Publisher: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Date: 06/2019
  • Millennials are more likely than previous generations to identify as multiracial. 
  • Millennials also are more likely to adopt unconventional gender identities, such as reporting that they see themselves as equally feminine and masculine. 
  • However, they are not outpacing previous generations in rejecting race and gender stereotypes. Their attitudes toward women’s roles and perceptions of black Americans are quite similar to those of baby boomers or Gen Xers. 
How Race and Unemployment Shape Labor Market Opportunities: Additive, Amplified, or Muted Effects? David S. Pedulla

How Race and Unemployment Shape Labor Market Opportunities: Additive, Amplified, or Muted Effects?

Author: David S. Pedulla
Publisher: Social Forces
Date: 06/2018

The manner in which social categories combine to produce inequality lies at the heart of scholarship on social stratification. To date, scholars have largely pointed to two primary ways that negatively stereotyped categories may aggregate: 1) additive effects, whereby one category has similar consequences across the other category, and 2) amplified congruence, whereby a secondary category exacerbates the negative effects of the first category. This article develops an alternative potential aggregation pattern—muted congruence—which posits that when individuals evaluate others that occupy multiple social positions about which stereotypes are highly congruent, such as being black and being unemployed, the additional category membership will have limited influence over the ultimate evaluation. Using evidence from a field experiment, where fictitious applications were submitted to real job openings, I examine which aggregation pattern most accurately reflects how race and unemployment shape actual hiring decisions. In line with predictions from the “muted congruence” perspective, the findings indicate that racial discrimination is prominent, but that there are limited additional negative effects of unemployment for African American workers. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for understanding the aggregation of social categories in the production of inequality.

Convergence and Disadvantage in Poverty Trends (1980–2010): What is Driving the Relative Socioeconomic Position of Hispanics and Whites? Marybeth J. Mattingly, Juan M. Pedroza

Convergence and Disadvantage in Poverty Trends (1980–2010): What is Driving the Relative Socioeconomic Position of Hispanics and Whites?

Author: Marybeth J. Mattingly, Juan M. Pedroza
Publisher: Race and Social Problems
Date: 03/2018

The gap between white and Hispanic poverty has remained stable for decades despite dramatic changes in the size and composition of the two groups. The gap, however, conceals crucial differences within the Hispanic population whereby some leverage education and smaller families to stave off poverty while others facing barriers to citizenship and English language acquisition face particularly high rates. In this paper, we use Decennial Census and American Community Survey data to examine poverty rates between Hispanic and non-Hispanic, white heads of household. We find the usual suspects stratify poverty risks: gender, age, employment, education, marital status, family size, and metro area status. In addition, Hispanic ethnicity has become a weaker indicator of poverty. We then decompose trends in poverty gaps between racial and ethnic groups. Between 1980 and 2010, poverty gaps persisted between whites and Hispanics. We find support for a convergence of advantages hypothesis and only partial support (among Hispanic noncitizens and Hispanics with limited English language proficiency) for a rising disadvantages hypothesis. Poverty-reducing gains in educational attainment alongside smaller families kept white–Hispanic poverty gaps from rising. If educational attainment continues to rise and family size drops further, poverty rates could fall, particularly for Hispanics who still have lower education and larger families, on average. Gains toward citizenship and greater English language proficiency would also serve to reduce the Hispanic–white poverty gap.

Divergent Pathways to Assimilation? Local Marriage Markets and Intermarriage Among U.S. Hispanics Zhenchao Qian, Daniel T. Lichter, Dmitry Tumin

Divergent Pathways to Assimilation? Local Marriage Markets and Intermarriage Among U.S. Hispanics

Author: Zhenchao Qian, Daniel T. Lichter, Dmitry Tumin
Publisher: Journal of Marriage and Family
Date: 02/2018

The growing diversity of the U.S. population raises questions about integration among America's fastest growing minority population—Hispanics. The canonical view is that intermarriage with the native-born White population represents a pathway to assimilation that varies over geographic space in response to uneven marital opportunities. Using data on past-year marriage from the 2009–2014 American Community Survey, the authors demonstrate high rates of intermarriage among Hispanics. The analyses identify whether Hispanics marry coethnics, non-co-ethnic Hispanics, non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, or other minorities. The authors highlight variation by race, nativity, and socioeconomic status and reveal that Hispanics living in new immigrant destinations are more likely to intermarry than those living in traditional Hispanic gateways. Indeed, the higher out-marriage in new destinations disappears when the demographic context of reception is taken into account. The analysis underscores that patterns of marital assimilation among Hispanics are neither monolithic nor expressed uniformly across geographic space.

race and ethnicity - CPI Affiliates

Hazel Markus's picture Hazel Markus Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader; Davis-Brack Professor in the Behavioral Sciences; Director of Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; Professor of Psychology
Stanford University
C. Matthew Snipp's picture C. Matthew Snipp Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader, Director of Social Science Secure Data Center, Professor of Sociology, Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences
Stanford University
Douglas S. Massey's picture Douglas S. Massey Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader; Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs
Princeton University
Tomás Jiménez's picture Tomás Jiménez Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration Research Group Leader; Director of Undergraduate Program on Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity; Director, Graduate Studies, Department of Sociology; Associate Professor of Sociology
Stanford University
Aliya Saperstein's picture Aliya Saperstein Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University

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Race And Ethnicity - Other Research

Title Author Media
What Caused Racial Disparities in Particulate Exposure to Fall? New Evidence from the Clean Air Act and Satellite-Based Measures of Air Quality Janet Currie, John Voorheis, Reed Walker

What Caused Racial Disparities in Particulate Exposure to Fall? New Evidence from the Clean Air Act and Satellite-Based Measures of Air Quality

Author: Janet Currie, John Voorheis, Reed Walker
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date: 01/2020

Racial differences in exposure to ambient air pollution have declined significantly in the United States over the past 20 years. This project links restricted-access Census Bureau microdata to newly available, spatially continuous high resolution measures of ambient particulate pollution (PM2.5) to examine the underlying causes and consequences of differences in black-white pollution exposures. We begin by decomposing differences in pollution exposure into components explained by observable population characteristics (e.g., income) versus those that remain unexplained. We then use quantile regression methods to show that a significant portion of the "unexplained" convergence in black-white pollution exposure can be attributed to differential impacts of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in non-Hispanic African American and non-Hispanic white communities. Areas with larger black populations saw greater CAA-related declines in PM2.5 exposure. We show that the CAA has been the single largest contributor to racial convergence in PM2.5 pollution exposure in the U.S. since 2000, accounting for over 60 percent of the reduction.

Caught between Cultures: Unintended Consequences of Improving Opportunity for Immigrant Girls Gordon B. Dahl, Cristina Felfe, Paul Frijters, Helmut Rainer

Caught between Cultures: Unintended Consequences of Improving Opportunity for Immigrant Girls

Author: Gordon B. Dahl, Cristina Felfe, Paul Frijters, Helmut Rainer
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date: 01/2020

What happens when immigrant girls are given increased opportunities to integrate into the workplace and society, but their parents value more traditional cultural outcomes? Building on Akerlof and Kranton's identity framework (2000), we construct a simple game-theoretic model which shows how expanding opportunities for immigrant girls can have the unintended consequence of reducing their well-being, since identity-concerned parents will constrain their daughter's choices. The model can explain the otherwise puzzling findings from a reform which granted automatic birthright citizenship to eligible immigrant children born in Germany after January 1, 2000. Using survey data we collected in 57 schools in Germany and comparing those born in the months before versus after the reform, we find that birthright citizenship lowers measures of life satisfaction and self-esteem for immigrant girls. This is especially true for Muslims, where traditional cultural identity is particularly salient. Birthright citizenship results in disillusionment where immigrant Muslim girls believe their chances of achieving their educational goals are lower and the perceived odds of having to forgo a career for family rise. Consistent with the model, immigrant Muslim parents invest less in their daughters' schooling and have a lower probability of speaking German with their daughters if they are born after the reform. We further find that immigrant Muslim girls granted birthright citizenship are less likely to self-identify as German, are more socially isolated, and are less likely to believe foreigners can have a good life in Germany. In contrast, immigrant boys experience, if anything, an improvement in well-being and little effect on other outcomes. Taken together, the findings point towards immigrant girls being pushed by parents to conform to a role within traditional culture, whereas boys are allowed to take advantage of the opportunities that come with citizenship. Alternative models can explain some of the findings in isolation, but are not consistent more generally.

Educational Variations in Cohort Trends in the Black-White Earnings Gap Among Men: Evidence From Administrative Earnings Data Siwei Cheng, Christopher R. Tamborini, ChangHwan Kim, Arthur Sakamoto

Educational Variations in Cohort Trends in the Black-White Earnings Gap Among Men: Evidence From Administrative Earnings Data

Author: Siwei Cheng, Christopher R. Tamborini, ChangHwan Kim, Arthur Sakamoto
Publisher: Demography
Date: 12/2019

Despite efforts to improve the labor market situation of African Americans, the racial earnings gap has endured in the United States. Most prior studies on racial inequality have considered its cross-sectional or period patterns. This study adopts a demographic perspective to examine the evolution of earnings trajectories among white and black men across cohorts in the United States. Using more than 40 years of longitudinal earnings records from the U.S. Social Security Administration matched to the Survey of Income and Program Participation, our analyses reveal that the cohort trends in the racial earnings gap follow quite different patterns by education. Race continues to be a salient dimension of economic inequality over the life course and across cohorts, particularly at the top and the bottom of the educational distribution. Although the narrowing of the racial gap among high school graduates is in itself a positive development, it unfortunately derives primarily from the deteriorating economic position for whites without a college degree rather than an improvement in economic standing of their black counterparts.

The Boss is Watching: How Monitoring Decisions Hurt Black Workers Costas Cavounidis, Kevin Lang, Russell Weinstein

The Boss is Watching: How Monitoring Decisions Hurt Black Workers

Author: Costas Cavounidis, Kevin Lang, Russell Weinstein
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research
Date: 09/2019

African Americans face shorter employment durations than apparently similar whites. We hypothesize that employers discriminate in either acquiring or acting on ability-relevant information. We construct a model in which firms may "monitor" workers. Monitoring black but not white workers is self-sustaining: new black hires are more likely to have been screened by a previous employer, causing firms to discriminate in monitoring. We confirm the model's prediction that the unemployment hazard is initially higher for blacks but converges to that for whites. Two additional predictions, lower lifetime incomes and longer unemployment durations for blacks, are known to be strongly empirically supported.

New Destinations and the Early Childhood Education of Mexican-Origin Children Elizabeth Ackert, Robert Crosnoe, Tama Leventhal

New Destinations and the Early Childhood Education of Mexican-Origin Children

Author: Elizabeth Ackert, Robert Crosnoe, Tama Leventhal
Publisher: Demography
Date: 09/2019

This study examined differences in exposure to early childhood education among Mexican-origin children across Latino/a destinations. Early childhood educational enrollment patterns, which are highly sensitive to community resources and foundational components of long-term educational inequalities, can offer a valuable window into how destinations may be shaping incorporation among Mexican-origin families. Integrating data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort with county-level data from the decennial census, multilevel logistic regression models revealed that Mexican-origin, black, and white children had lower odds of enrollment in early childhood education programs if they lived in new Latino/a destinations versus established destinations. The negative association between new destinations and early childhood education enrollment persisted despite controls for household selectivity, state and local early childhood education contexts, Latino/a educational attainment, Latino-white residential segregation, and immigration enforcement agreements. Within the Mexican-origin subgroup, the enrollment gap between new and established destinations was widest among the least-acculturated families, as measured by parental nativity, duration of residence, citizenship status, and English proficiency. These findings highlight how both place and acculturation stratify outcomes within the large and growing Mexican-origin subset of the Latino/a population.