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The Roles of Assimilation and Ethnic Enclave Residence in Immigrant Smoking

  • Johanna Catherine Maclean
  • Douglas Webber
  • Jody L. Sindelar

In this study we examine the importance of assimilation and ethnic enclave residence for smoking outcomes among United States immigrants. We draw data on over 140,000 immigrants from the Current Population Survey Tobacco Use Supplements between 1995 and 2011. Several patterns emerge from our analysis. First we replicate findings from previous studies that show that longer residence in the U.S is associated with improved employment outcomes while ethnic enclave residence may hinder these outcomes. Second, we find that assimilation similarly extends to coverage of employment-based anti-smoking policies such as worksite smoking bans and smoking cessation programs while enclave residence does not substantially influence these outcomes. Third, we document complex relationships between assimilation, enclave residence, and smoking outcomes. Lastly, we find no strong evidence that immigrants reduce their smoking when faced with more restrictive state anti-smoking policies and find counter-intuitive impacts of tobacco taxes. These findings have important policy implications.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19753.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19753
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  1. Olof Åslund & Peter Fredriksson, 2009. "Peer Effects in Welfare Dependence: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  2. Bell, Brian & Machin, Stephen, 2011. "Immigrant Enclaves and Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 6205, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
  4. Nicholas Biddle & Steven Kennedy & James Ted Mcdonald, 2007. "Health Assimilation Patterns Amongst Australian Immigrants," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(260), pages 16-30, 03.
  5. Olivier Allais & Patrice Bertail & Véronique Nichèle, 2010. "The Effects of a Fat Tax on French Households' Purchases: A Nutritional Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(1), pages 228-245.
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