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Intermarriage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity and Human Capital for Mexican Americans

Author

Listed:
  • Brian Duncan

    () (Department of Economics, University of Colorado at Denver)

  • Stephen Trejo

    () (Department of Economics, University of Texas at Austin, and CReAM)

Abstract

Using microdata from the 2000 U.S. Census and from recent years of the Current Population Survey (CPS), we investigate whether selective intermarriage and endogenous ethnic identification interact to hide some of the intergenerational progress achieved by the Mexican-origin population in the United States. First, using Census data for U.S.-born youth ages 16-17 who have at least one Mexican parent, we estimate how the Mexican identification, high school dropout rates, and English proficiency of these youth depend on whether they are the product of endogamous or exogamous marriages. Second, we analyze the extent and selectivity of ethnic attrition among second-generation Mexican-American adults and among U.S.-born Mexican-American youth. Using CPS data, we directly assess the influence of endogenous ethnicity by comparing an "objective" indicator of Mexican descent (based on the countries of birth of the respondent and his parents and grandparents) with the standard "subjective" measure of Mexican self-identification (based on the respondent's answer to the Hispanic origin question). For third-generation Mexican- American youth, we show that ethnic attrition is substantial and could produce significant downward bias in standard measures of attainment which rely on ethnic self-identification rather than objective indicators of Mexican ancestry.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Duncan & Stephen Trejo, 2009. "Intermarriage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity and Human Capital for Mexican Americans," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0902, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:0902
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2017. "The Complexity of Immigrant Generations: Implications for Assessing the Socioeconomic Integration of Hispanics and Asians," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(5), pages 1146-1175, October.
    2. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Beatrice Schindler Rangvid, 2012. "The impact of parents’ years since migration on children’s academic achievement," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-23, December.
    3. Assaf Sarid & Oded Galor, "undated". "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," Working Papers WP2017/4, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
    4. Francisca Antman & Brian Duncan, 2015. "Incentives to Identify: Racial Identity in the Age of Affirmative Action," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 710-713, July.
    5. Furtado, Delia & Song, Tao, 2014. "Trends in the Returns to Social Assimilation: Earnings Premiums among U.S. Immigrants that Marry Natives," IZA Discussion Papers 8626, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Daniel Lichter, 2013. "Integration or Fragmentation? Racial Diversity and the American Future," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 359-391, April.
    7. repec:eme:rleczz:s0147-9121(2009)0000029005 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigrants and the U.S. Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Oded Galor & Omer Ozak & Assaf Sarid, 2016. "Origins and Consequences of Lanquage Structures," Working Papers 2016-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    10. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2009. "Ancestry versus ethnicity: the complexity and selectivity of Mexican identification in the United States," Research in Labor Economics,in: Ethnicity and Labor Market Outcomes, volume 29, pages 31-66 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    11. Francisca Antman & Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2016. "Ethnic Attrition and the Observed Health of Later-Generation Mexican Americans," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 467-471, May.
    12. Furtado, Delia, 2009. "Cross-Nativity Marriages and Human Capital Levels of Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3931, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. repec:eee:jhecon:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Brian Duncan & Jeffrey Grogger & Ana Sofia Leon & Stephen J. Trejo, 2017. "New Evidence of Generational Progress for Mexican Americans," Working Papers 2017-089, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. Hull, Marie C., 2017. "The academic progress of Hispanic immigrants," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 91-110.
    16. Klaus Zimmermann, 2007. "The economics of migrant ethnicity," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 487-494, July.
    17. Basu Sukanya & Insler Michael, 2017. "Education Outcomes of Children of Asian Intermarriages: Does Gender of the Immigrant Parent Matter?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-21, February.
    18. Fairlie Robert & Woodruff Christopher M., 2010. "Mexican-American Entrepreneurship," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-44, February.
    19. Brian Duncan & Stephen J. Trejo, 2011. "Tracking Intergenerational Progress for Immigrant Groups: The Problem of Ethnic Attrition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 603-608, May.
    20. Dal Borgo Mariela, 2018. "Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Saving Behavior," Working Papers 2018-02, Banco de México.
    21. Alberto Bisin & Thierry Verdier, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Transmission and Socialization," NBER Working Papers 16512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Wendy D. Roth, 2010. "Racial Mismatch: The Divergence Between Form and Function in Data for Monitoring Racial Discrimination of Hispanics," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(s1), pages 1288-1311.
    23. repec:aea:aejpol:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:117-51 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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