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Interethnic marriage: a choice between ethnic and educational similarities

  • Delia Furtado

    ()

  • Nikolaos Theodoropoulos

This paper examines the effects of education on intermarriage, and specifically whether the mechanisms through which education affects intermarriage differ by immigrant generation, age at arrival, and race. We consider three main paths through which education affects marriage choice. First, educated people may be better able to adapt to different cultures making them more likely to marry outside of their ethnicity (cultural adaptability effect). Second, because the educated are less likely to reside in ethnic enclaves, meeting potential spouses of the same ethnicity may be difficult (enclave effect). Lastly, if spouse-searchers value similarities in education as well as similarities in ethnicity, then the effect of education will depend on the availability of same-ethnicity potential spouses with a similar level of education (assortative matching effect). Using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, we find that controlling for the enclave effect, there is empirical evidence for both the cultural adaptability and assortative matching effects. Our estimates also suggest that assortative matching is relatively more important for the native born rather than the foreign born, for the foreign born that arrived young rather than old, and for Asians rather than Hispanics. We provide additional evidence suggestive of our hypotheses and discuss policy implications.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00148-010-0319-7
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 1257-1279

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:24:y:2011:i:4:p:1257-1279
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  1. Chiswick, Barry R. & Houseworth, Christina A., 2008. "Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating," IZA Discussion Papers 3740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  3. Hoyt Bleakley & Aimee Chin, 2009. "Age at Arrival, English Proficiency, and Social Assimilation Among U.S. Immigrants," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0913, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
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  17. Linda Y. Wong, 2003. "Why so only 5.5% of Black Men Marry White Women?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(3), pages 803-826, 08.
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  20. Daniel T. Lichter & J. Brian Brown & Zhenchao Qian & Julie H. Carmalt, 2007. "Marital Assimilation Among Hispanics: Evidence of Declining Cultural and Economic Incorporation?," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 88(3), pages 745-765.
  21. Xin Meng & Robert G. Gregory, 2005. "Intermarriage and the Economic Assimilation of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 135-176, January.
  22. Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Smith, Nina & Celikaksoy, Aycan, 2007. "The Effect of Marriage on Education of Immigrants: Evidence from a Policy Reform Restricting Spouse Import," IZA Discussion Papers 2899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  26. repec:iza:izadps:dp1142 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. Bartel, Ann P, 1989. "Where Do the New U.S. Immigrants Live?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(4), pages 371-91, October.
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