Fryer On Black in America

Roland Fryer will appear on CNN’s Black in America series tonight and tomorrow night at 8 p.m.

What Is the Most Racist City in America?

On one level, quantifying racism doesn’t make much sense. From the standpoint of individual experience, two people who suffer discrimination based on their ethnic status might feel equally violated even if the incident differs. Who can say one experienced “more racism” if both feel hurt? But let’s consider the question at the macro level. Specifically, […]

How Much Does It Cost You in Wages if You “Sound Black?”

Fascinating new research by my University of Chicago colleague, Jeffrey Grogger, compares the wages of people who “sound black” when they talk to those who do not. His main finding: blacks who “sound black” earn salaries that are 10 percent lower than blacks who do not “sound black,” even after controlling for measures of intelligence, […]

Pacman Jones Is Black; Joshua Packwood Is Not

The latest bout of racial consternation in our great land includes: Another Don Imus comment; will it reverberate as loudly as the last one? A white valedictorian at historically black Morehouse College; maybe the would-be black valedictorian wound up at any Ivy?

The Racial Tipping Point

A few years back, I got interested in taxicab tipping – and what influences how much people tip. So together with Fred Vars and Nasser Zakariya, I collected data on more than 1,000 cab rides in New Haven, CT and crunched the numbers. The study (published in The Yale Law Journal) found — after controlling […]

How Can the Achievement Gap Be Closed? A Freakonomics Quorum

The black-white gap in U.S. education is an issue that continues to occupy the efforts of a great many scholars. Roland Fryer and Steve Levitt have poked at the issue repeatedly; a recent study by Spyros Konstantopoulos looked at class size as a possible culprit, to little avail. We gathered a group of people with […]

Acceptable Biases, and Unacceptable Ones

We’ve written in the past about the very thin line that separates an acceptable expression of racial or ethnic bias from an unacceptable one — for instance, the tumult over Andy Rooney writing that “today’s baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me.” As we wrote in Freakonomics, evidence from the TV show Weakest […]

Happy Birthday: A Guest Post

My family has a tradition of reading the “I Have a Dream” speech on Martin Luther King Jr.‘s birthday. We pass it around, with each person reading one sentence. So in honor of today’s holiday, here’s a question about the speech: what is the second-most-used figure of speech or metaphor in the speech itself (“I […]

Is the U.S. High School Graduation Rate Worse Than We Thought?

That’s the assertion made by James Heckman and Paul LaFontaine in a new working paper called “The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels.” Here is their abstract: This paper uses multiple data sources and a unified methodology to estimate the trends and levels of the U.S. high school graduation rate. Correcting for important […]

Do Mothers Pass On Racism More than Fathers?

Dubner has blogged before about the difficulty of gathering accurate data from adults on subjects like racism. The problem, he noted, lies in people’s tendencies to give answers that are socially appropriate but don’t necessarily reflect their actual views. Children, however, are not often so guarded (or disingenuous, depending on how you look at it). […]