A Behavioral Interpretation of the Origins of African American Family Structure

34 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2019

See all articles by Gerald D. Jaynes

Gerald D. Jaynes

Yale University - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 30, 2018

Abstract

1960 to 1980 doubling (21% to 41%) of black children in one-parent families emerged from 1940-to-1970 urbanization converging population toward urbanized blacks’ historically stable high rate, not post-1960 welfare liberalization or deindustrialization. Urban and rural child socializations structured different Jim Crow Era black family formations. Agrarian economic enclaves socialized conformity to Jim Crow and two-parent families; urban enclaves rebellion, male joblessness, and destabilized families. Proxying urban/rural residence at age 16 for socialization location, logistic regressions on sixties census data confirm the hypothesis. Racialized urban socialization negatively affected two-parent family formation and poverty status of blacks but not whites.

Keywords: Behavioral Economics, Logistic Regression

Suggested Citation

Jaynes, Gerald D., A Behavioral Interpretation of the Origins of African American Family Structure (November 30, 2018). Cowles Foundation Discussion Paper No. 2156. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3303260 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3303260

Gerald D. Jaynes (Contact Author)

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

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