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Immigrant-Native Fertility and Mortality Differentials in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Pervi Sevak

    (Hunter College)

  • Lucie Schmidt

    (Williams College)

Abstract

Immigrants have been discussed as a means of alleviating fiscal pressures on Social Security. Their long-term impact on the Social Security system depends critically on their fertility and mortality patterns. In this paper, we examine the fertility and mortality patterns of immigrants to the United States and compare these patterns with those of non-immigrants. We find that both the recent and cumulative fertility of immigrant women is higher than that of native-born women, but that a large share of these differentials can be “explained” by differences in age structures, race and ethnicity, years in the United States, and country of origin. Using a synthetic cohort approach, we examine the role of years in the United States in more detail, and find no evidence of assimilation towards native-born fertility patterns. Consistent with previous research, we find evidence of a disruption effect on fertility – the fertility of immigrant women in the most recent arrival cohorts is low, but increases at a faster rate relative to both the fertility of immigrants from earlier cohorts and relative to the fertility of natives. We find that immigrants experience lower mortality than native-born individuals in the United States, and these differences remain even after controlling for underlying differences in observable characteristics. However we find that they do not exhibit differences in their subjective expectations of their mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Pervi Sevak & Lucie Schmidt, 2008. "Immigrant-Native Fertility and Mortality Differentials in the United States," Working Papers wp181, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp181
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    File URL: http://www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu/publications/Papers/pdf/wp181.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:3:392-399_5 is not listed on IDEAS
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    3. Regina T. Riphahn & Jochen Mayer, 2000. "Fertility assimilation of immigrants: Evidence from count data models," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 241-261.
    4. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard, 2006. "Unhealthy assimilation: Why do immigrants converge to American health status levels?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 337-360, May.
    5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
    6. Borjas, George J., 1999. "The economic analysis of immigration," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1697-1760 Elsevier.
    7. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 2000. "Social Security Benefits of Immigrants and U.S. Born," NBER Chapters,in: Issues in the Economics of Immigration, pages 309-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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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    11. Purvi Sevak & Lucie Schmidt, 2007. "How do Immigrants Fare in Retirement?," Working Papers wp169, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    12. Michael D. Hurd & Kathleen McGarry, 2002. "The Predictive Validity of Subjective Probabilities of Survival," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 966-985, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Emilio Parrado, 2011. "How High is Hispanic/Mexican Fertility in the United States? Immigration and Tempo Considerations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(3), pages 1059-1080, August.
    2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan L. Averett & Cynthia A. Bansak, 2016. "Welfare reform and immigrant fertility," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(3), pages 757-779, July.
    3. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Averett, Susan L. & Bansak, Cynthia, 2014. "Welfare Reform and Immigrant Fertility," IZA Discussion Papers 8153, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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