Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Resisting the Melting Pot: the Long Term Impact of Maintaining Identity for Franco-Americans in New England

Contents:

Author Info

  • Mary MacKinnon
  • Daniel Parent

Abstract

The scale of the persistent, concentrated immigration from Mexico is a source of concern to many in the United States. The perception is that Mexicans are not assimilating into mainstream America as previous generations of immigrants did. In this paper we look at the emigration of approximately 1 million French-Canadians who moved to the United States, with the bulk of the migration occurring between the end of the Civil War and 1930 and with most settling in neighboring New England. What makes this episode particularly interesting is the fact that the French-Canadian immigrants exerted considerable efforts to maintain their language and to replicate their home country institutions, most notably the schooling system, in their new country. This explicit resistance to assimilation generated considerable attention and concern in the U.S. over many years. The concerns are strikingly similar to those often invoked today in discussions of policy regarding immigration from hispanic countries, notably Mexico. We look at the convergence in the educational attainment of French Canadian immigrants across generations relative to native English-speaking New Englanders and to other immigrants. The educational attainment of Franco-Americans lagged that of their fellow citizens over a long period of time. Yet, by the time of the 2000 Census, they eventually, if belatedly, appeared to have largely achieved parity. Additionally, we show that military service was a very important factor contributing to the assimilation process through a variety of related channels, namely educational attainment, language assimilation, marrying outside the ethnic group, and moving out of New England. Finally, when we compare Franco-Americans to French-speaking Canadians of the same generations, it is clear that Franco-Americans substantially upgraded their educational attainment relative to what it would have been if they had not emigrated. This suggests that the "pull" factor eventually exerted a dominating influence.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.cirpee.org/fileadmin/documents/Cahiers_2005/CIRPEE05-17.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0517.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0517

Contact details of provider:
Postal: CP 8888, succursale Centre-Ville, Montréal, QC H3C 3P8
Phone: (514) 987-8161
Web page: http://www.cirpee.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Immigration; education; long term convergence;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Julian R. Betts & Magnus Lofstrom, 1998. "The Educational Attainment of Immigrants: Trends and Implications," NBER Working Papers 6757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Thomas Lemieux & David Card, 2001. "Education, earnings, and the "Canadian G.I. Bill"," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 313-344, May.
  3. Stephen J. Trejo, 2003. "Intergenerational Progress of Mexican-Origin Workers in the U.S. Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
  4. Green, Alan & Mackinnon, Mary & Minns, Chris, 2005. "Conspicuous by their Absence: French Canadians and the Settlement of the Canadian West," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 822-849, September.
  5. George J. Borjas, 2003. "The Labor Demand Curve Is Downward Sloping: Reexamining The Impact Of Immigration On The Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1335-1374, November.
  6. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-Run Convergence of Ethnic Skill Differentials," NBER Working Papers 4641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
  8. George J. Borjas & Stephen J. Trejo, 1992. "National Origin and Immigrant Welfare Recipiency," NBER Working Papers 4029, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Marcus Stanley, 2003. "College Education And The Midcentury Gi Bills," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 671-708, May.
  11. George J. Borjas, 1994. "Long-run convergence of ethnic skill differentials: The children and grandchildren of the Great Migration," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(4), pages 553-573, July.
  12. Goldin, Claudia & Margo, Robert A, 1992. "The Great Compression: The Wage Structure in the United States at Mid-century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 1-34, February.
  13. Robert A. Margo, 1990. "Race and Schooling in the South, 1880-1950: An Economic History," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number marg90-1.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  15. Paquet, Gilles & Smith, Wayne R., 1983. "L’émigration des Canadiens français vers les États-Unis, 1790-1940 : problématique et coups de sonde," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 59(3), pages 423-453, septembre.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Daniel Parent, 2009. "Intergenerational Progress In Educational Attainment When Institutional Change Really Matters: A Case Study Of Franco-Americans Vs. Frnech-Speaking Quebeckers," Departmental Working Papers 2009-06, McGill University, Department of Economics.
  2. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2008. "Intermarriage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity and Human Capital for Mexican Americans," IZA Discussion Papers 3547, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Parent, Daniel, 2009. "Intergenerational Progress in Educational Attainment When Institutional Change Really Matters: A Case Study of Franco-Americans vs. French-Speaking Quebecers," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-36, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 26 Jun 2009.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0517. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Johanne Perron).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.