Type: Seminar

Affirmative Action Bans and Interracial Marriage

Open to PhD students and faculty engaged in causal inference in education research.


David Mickey-Pabello, PhD Candidate in Sociology

Date & time

Oct 4, 2017, 8:30-10:00 am EDT



Beginning with Special Policy 1 and Proposition 209 in California some U.S. states have banned the practice of affirmative action: a tool that colleges, universities, and workplaces have used to increase their racial diversity. To date, the impacts of such policy bans have mostly focused on evaluating their impact in schools: how the student populations at public colleges and universities have become less racially and ethnically diverse as a result of switching from an affirmative action model to a merit-based and color-blind admissions model. This study moves the discourse beyond that literature by asking how these policy bans have impacted interracial marriage. The results of this study contradict a theorem of interracial marriage heterogeneity by Blau, Blum, and Shwartz (1982) that posits that more racially diverse environments yield more interracial marriages. If this theorem is correct, then it is plausible that interracial marriages would decline because colleges and universities and workplaces become less racially heterogeneous. This study finds that while interracial marriage decreased as a result of affirmative action bans it was not due to declines in White-Black or White-Hispanic interracial marriage as one might expect. Instead, the beneficiaries of affirmative action bans (Whites and Asians), contrary to the theorem of interracial marriage heterogeneity, are choosing to marry within their own racial groups, thus causing interracial marriage to decline.


The objective of the Causal Inference in Education Research Seminar (CIERS) is to engage students and faculty from across the university in conversations around education research using various research methodologies. This seminar provides a space for doctoral students and faculty from social science disciplines to discuss current research and receive feedback on works-in-progress. Discourse across schools and departments creates a more complete community of education scholars, and provides a networking opportunity for students enrolled in a variety of academic programs who share common research interests.

Our regular meeting schedule is Wednesday mornings from 8:30 to 10 am in Weill 3240 (3rd floor conference room). Check out our website to learn more and to sign up for the mailing list.