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Intersectional InequalityRace, Class, Test Scores, and Poverty$
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Charles C. Ragin and Peer C. Fiss

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226414379

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226414546.001.0001

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Test Scores, Parental Income, and Poverty

Test Scores, Parental Income, and Poverty

Chapter:
(p.80) Five Test Scores, Parental Income, and Poverty
Source:
Intersectional Inequality
Author(s):

Charles C. Ragin

Peer C. Fiss

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226414546.003.0006

The Bell Curve focuses on the competition between two independent variables, family background and test scores. Chapter 5 addresses the Bell Curve directly, assessing the set-theoretic connections between family background--especially parental income--and test scores, on the one hand, and poverty, on the other. Our results reveal a distinct pattern of racial confounding that is hidden in conventional analyses, namely a strong connection between advantages and avoiding poverty for whites and a strong connection between disadvantages and experiencing poverty for blacks. Specifically, we document very strong connections for white males and white females between not-low-income-parents and not-low-test-scores, on the one hand, and avoiding poverty, on the other. These same connections for blacks are much weaker. However, blacks exhibit a strong shared-antecedent connection between not-high-income-parents and not-high-test-scores, on the one hand, and experiencing poverty, on the other. Our findings are thus fundamentally different from the insights offered in the Bell Curve, suggesting a clear pattern of racial differences in the connection between family background and poverty.

Keywords:   shared outcomes, shared antecedents, set-theoretic consistency, asymmetry, set-theoretic coverage, multiple calibration, test scores, parental income, collinearity, set coincidence, poverty

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