Empirical Economics

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 1125–1169 | Cite as

Human capital in the inner city

  • Dionissi AliprantisEmail author


Twenty-six percent of black males in the USA report seeing someone shot at before turning 12. This paper investigates how black young males alter their behavior when living in violent neighborhoods, using the nationally representative National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to quantitatively characterize the “code of the street” from the sociology literature. Black and white young males are equally likely to engage in violent behavior, conditional on reported exposure to violence. Education and labor market outcomes are worse when reporting exposure, unconditionally and controlling for observables. Mediators documented in the ethnography are quantitatively important in the estimated structural model.


Code of the street Interpersonal violence Human capital Race Propensity score matching Dynamic selection control 

JEL Classification

I21 J15 J24 O15 O18 Z13 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research DepartmentFederal Reserve Bank of ClevelandClevelandUSA

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