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Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn

Abstract

Using 1994-2003 CPS data, we study gender and assimilation of Mexican Americans. Source country patterns, particularly the more traditional gender division of labor in the family in Mexico, strongly influence the outcomes and behavior of Mexican immigrants. On arrival in the United States, immigrant women have a higher incidence of marriage (spouse present), higher fertility, and much lower labor supply than comparable white natives; wage differences are smaller than labor supply differences, and smaller than comparable wage gaps for men. Immigrant women's labor supply assimilates dramatically: the ceteris paribus immigrant shortfall is virtually eliminated after twenty years. While men experience moderate wage assimilation, evidence is mixed for women. Rising education in the second generation considerably reduces raw labor supply (especially for women) and wage gaps with nonhispanic whites. Female immigrants' high marriage rates assimilate towards comparable natives', but immigrant women and men remain more likely to be married even after long residence. The remaining ceteris paribus marriage gap is eliminated in the second generation. Immigrants' higher fertility does not assimilate toward the native level, and, while the size of the Mexican American- white native fertility differential declines across generations, it is not eliminated.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11512.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans , Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn. in Mexican Immigration to the United States , Borjas. 2007
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11512

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  1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2003. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 429-447, March.
  2. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
  3. Trejo, Stephen J, 1997. "Why Do Mexican Americans Earn Low Wages?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1235-68, December.
  4. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2005. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 11423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert J. LaLonde & Robert H. Topel, 1990. "The Assimilation of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 3573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2002. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: Evidence from the United States," NBER Working Papers 9051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Josh Angrist, 2002. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage And Labor Markets? Evidence From America'S Second Generation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 997-1038, August.
  8. Francine D. Blau, 1992. "The Fertility of Immigrant Women: Evidence from High-Fertility Source Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Immigration and the Workforce: Economic Consequences for the United States and Source Areas, pages 93-134 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hildebrand, Vincent A., 2004. "The Wealth of Mexican Americans," IZA Discussion Papers 1150, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. 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).
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  15. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-89, October.
  16. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
  17. James P. Smith, 2003. "Assimilation across the Latino Generations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 315-319, May.
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