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Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans

  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn

Using 1994-2003 CPS data, we study gender and assimilation of Mexican Americans. Source country patterns, particularly the more traditional gender division of labor in the family in Mexico, strongly influence the outcomes and behavior of Mexican immigrants. On arrival in the United States, immigrant women have a higher incidence of marriage (spouse present), higher fertility, and much lower labor supply than comparable white natives; wage differences are smaller than labor supply differences, and smaller than comparable wage gaps for men. Immigrant women's labor supply assimilates dramatically: the ceteris paribus immigrant shortfall is virtually eliminated after twenty years. While men experience moderate wage assimilation, evidence is mixed for women. Rising education in the second generation considerably reduces raw labor supply (especially for women) and wage gaps with nonhispanic whites. Female immigrants' high marriage rates assimilate towards comparable natives', but immigrant women and men remain more likely to be married even after long residence. The remaining ceteris paribus marriage gap is eliminated in the second generation. Immigrants' higher fertility does not assimilate toward the native level, and, while the size of the Mexican American- white native fertility differential declines across generations, it is not eliminated.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11512.

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Date of creation: Aug 2005
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Publication status: published as Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans , Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn. in Mexican Immigration to the United States , Borjas. 2007
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11512
Note: CH ED LS
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  1. Baker, Michael & Benjamin, Dwayne, 1997. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 705-27, September.
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  3. Duncan, Brian & Trejo, Stephen, 2005. "Ethnic Identification, Intermarriage, and Unmeasured Progress by Mexican Americans," IZA Discussion Papers 1629, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  16. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Joan Y. Moriarty & Andre Portela Souza, 2003. "The Role of the Family in Immigrants' Labor-Market Activity: An Evaluation of Alternative Explanations: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 429-447, March.
  17. Harriet Duleep & Seth Sanders, 1993. "The decision to work by married immigrant women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(4), pages 677-690, July.
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