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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna Catherine Maclean & Douglas Webber & Jody L. Sindelar, 2013. "The Roles of Assimilation and Ethnic Enclave Residence in Immigrant Smoking," NBER Working Papers 19753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19753
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brian Bell & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Immigrant Enclaves And Crime," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 118-141, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    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, March.
    5. Olof Åslund & Peter Fredriksson, 2009. "Peer Effects in Welfare Dependence: Quasi-Experimental Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy

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