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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. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:70:y:2017:i:5:p:1146-1175 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Hull, Marie C., 2017. "The academic progress of Hispanic immigrants," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 91-110.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, pages 467-471.
    6. Brian Duncan & Jeffrey Grogger & Ana Sofia Leon & Stephen J. Trejo, 2017. "New Evidence of Generational Progress for Mexican Americans," NBER Working Papers 24067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Fairlie Robert & Woodruff Christopher M., 2010. "Mexican-American Entrepreneurship," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-44.
    9. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Beatrice Schindler Rangvid, 2012. "The impact of parents’ years since migration on children’s academic achievement," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-23, December.
    10. Oded Galor & Omer Ozak & Assaf Sarid, 2016. "Origins and Consequences of Lanquage Structures," Working Papers 2016-7, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    11. Assaf Sarid & Oded Galor, "undated". "Geographical Origins and Economic Consequences of Language Structures," Working Papers WP2017/4, University of Haifa, Department of Economics.
    12. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2008. "Ancestry versus Ethnicity: The Complexity and Selectivity of Mexican Identification in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 3552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. 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).
    14. 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.
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    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
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    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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