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The National Academy of Sciences on Native/Foreign Intermarriage

Summary:
How socially distant are two groups?  One of sociologists top measures is simply the rate of intermarriage.  Since college graduates almost never marry high school dropouts, the two groups are probably extremely socially disconnected.  When intermarriage rates rise, similarly, sociologists naturally infer that caste barriers are coming down. When people bemoan the cultural divide between natives and immigrants, then, looking at intermarriage rates is a good place to start.  I reproduce recent National Academy of Sciences data on this point below.  But before you look, ask yourself: “What do I expect to see?” So what do you think?

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How socially distant are two groups?  One of sociologists top measures is simply the rate of intermarriage.  Since college graduates almost never marry high school dropouts, the two groups are probably extremely socially disconnected.  When intermarriage rates rise, similarly, sociologists naturally infer that caste barriers are coming down.

When people bemoan the cultural divide between natives and immigrants, then, looking at intermarriage rates is a good place to start.  I reproduce recent National Academy of Sciences data on this point below.  But before you look, ask yourself: “What do I expect to see?”

So what do you think?

Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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