Human capital in the inner city
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.