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The Transmission of Women's Fertility, Human Capital and Work Orientation across Immigrant Generations

  • Blau, Francine D.

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Kahn, Lawrence M.

    ()

    (Cornell University)

  • Liu, Albert Yung-Hsu

    ()

    (Mathematica Policy Research)

  • Papps, Kerry L.

    ()

    (University of Bath)

Using 1995–2006 Current Population Survey and 1970–2000 Census data, we study the intergenerational transmission of fertility, human capital and work orientation of immigrants to their US-born children. We find that second-generation women's fertility and labor supply are significantly positively affected by the immigrant generation's fertility and labor supply respectively, with the effect of mother's fertility and labor supply larger than that of women from the father's source country. The second generation's education levels are also significantly positively affected by that of their parents, with a stronger effect of father's than mother's education. Second-generation women's schooling levels are negatively affected by immigrant fertility, suggesting a quality-quantity tradeoff for immigrant families. We find higher transmission rates for immigrant fertility to the second generation than we do for labor supply or education: after one generation, 40-65% of any immigrant excess fertility will remain, but only 12-18% of any immigrant annual hours shortfall and 18-36% of any immigrant educational shortfall. These results suggest a considerable amount of assimilation across generations toward native levels of schooling and labor supply, although fertility effects show more persistence.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3732.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Population Economics, 2013, 26 (2), 405-435
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3732
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  1. Dinardo, J. & Fortin, N.M. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Cahiers de recherche 9406, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans," NBER Chapters, in: Mexican Immigration to the United States, pages 57-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Francine D. Blau, 1991. "The Fertility of Immigrant Women: Evidence from High Fertility Source Countries," NBER Working Papers 3608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-77, January.
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  7. Brian Duncan & Stephen Trejo, 2006. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmaresured Progress by Mexican Americans," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 0602, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  8. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2013. "On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(2), pages 469-530.
  9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Kerry L. Papps, 2008. "Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants: 1980-2000," NBER Working Papers 14387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bauer, Philipp C. & Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Heterogeneity in the Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment: Evidence from Switzerland on Natives and Second Generation Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ira N. Gang & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 1999. "Is Child Like Parent? Educational Attainment and Ethnic Origin," Departmental Working Papers 199614, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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  13. Chiswick, Barry R, 1988. "Differences in Education and Earnings across Racial and Ethnic Groups: Tastes, Discrimination, and Investments in Child Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(3), pages 571-97, August.
  14. David Card & John DiNardo & Eugena Estes, 1998. "The More Things Change: Immigrants and the Children of Immigrants in the 1940s, the 1970s, and the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 6519, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Alberto Alesina & Edward Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Why Doesn't the United States Have a European-Style Welfare State?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(2), pages 187-278.
  16. Chiara Pronzato, 2012. "An examination of paternal and maternal intergenerational transmission of schooling," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 591-608, January.
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