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Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States

  • Kate H. Choi

    ()

  • Marta Tienda
  • Deborah Cobb-Clark
  • Mathias Sinning

The claim that marriage is a venue for status exchange of achieved traits, like education, and ascribed attributes, notably race and ethnic membership, has regained traction in the social stratifi cation literature. Most studies that consider status exchanges ignore birthplace as a social boundary for status exchanges via couple formation. This paper evaluates the status exchange hypothesis for Australia and the United States, two Anglophone nations with long immigration traditions whose admission regimes place diff erent emphases on skills. A log-linear analysis reveals evidence of status exchange in the United States among immigrants with lower levels of education and mixed nativity couples with foreign-born husbands. Partly because Australian educational boundaries are less sharply demarcated at the postsecondary level, we fi nd weaker evidence for the status exchange hypothesis. Australian status exchanges across nativity boundaries usually involve marriages between immigrant spouses with a postsecondary credential below a college degree and native-born high school graduates.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0261.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0261
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  1. Genevieve Heard, 2011. "Socioeconomic Marriage Differentials in Australia and New Zealand," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(1), pages 125-160, 03.
  2. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Trong-Ha Nguyen, 2010. "Immigration Background and the Intergenerational Correlation in Education," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. repec:car:carecp:00-07 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Zhenchao Qian, 1997. "Breaking the racial barriers: Variations in interracial marriage between 1980 and 1990," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 263-276, May.
  5. Christine Schwartz & Robert Mare, 2005. "Trends in educational assortative marriage from 1940 to 2003," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 621-646, November.
  6. Jens Hainmueller & Michael J. Hiscox, 2005. "Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe," Others 0505013, EconWPA.
  7. Paul W. Miller, 1999. "Immigration Policy and Immigrant Quality: The Australian Points System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 192-197, May.
  8. Florencia Torche, 2010. "Educational assortative mating and economic inequality: A comparative analysis of three Latin American countries," Demography, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 481-502, May.
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