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Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States

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Author Info

  • Kate H. Choi

    (Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University)

  • Marta Tienda

    (Office of Population Research, Princeton University)

  • Deborah Cobb-Clark

    ()
    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne; and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA))

  • Mathias Sinning

    (Research School of Economics, The Australian National University)

Abstract

The claim that marriage is a venue for status exchange of achieved traits, like education, and ascribed attributes, notably race and ethnic membership, has regained traction in the social stratification literature. Most studies that consider status exchanges ignore birthplace as a social boundary for status exchanges via couple formation. This paper evaluates the status exchange hypothesis for Australia and the United States, two Anglophone nations with long immigration traditions whose admission regimes place different emphases on skills. A loglinear analysis reveals evidence of status exchange in the United States among immigrants with lower levels of education and mixed nativity couples with foreign-born husbands. Partly because Australian educational boundaries are less sharply demarcated at the postsecondary level, we find is weaker evidence for the status exchange hypothesis. Australian status exchanges across nativity boundaries usually involve marriages between immigrant spouses with a postsecondary credential below a college degree and native-born high school graduates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne in its series Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series with number wp2011n12.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2011n12

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Keywords: Status exchange; immigration; educational assortative mating;

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References

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  1. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
  2. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  3. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," Others 0505013, EconWPA.
  4. Florencia Torche, 2010. "Educational assortative mating and economic inequality: A comparative analysis of three Latin American countries," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 481-502, May.
  5. Genevieve Heard, 2011. "Socioeconomic Marriage Differentials in Australia and New Zealand," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(1), pages 125-160, 03.
  6. Frances Woolley, 2000. "Control over Money in Marriage," Carleton Economic Papers 00-07, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 2003.
  7. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Nguyen, Trong-Ha, 2010. "Immigration Background and the Intergenerational Correlation in Education," IZA Discussion Papers 4985, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Zhenchao Qian, 1997. "Breaking the racial barriers: Variations in interracial marriage between 1980 and 1990," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 263-276, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Lichter, 2013. "Integration or Fragmentation? Racial Diversity and the American Future," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 359-391, April.

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