Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States

40 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2011

See all articles by Kate Choi

Kate Choi

Princeton University

Marta Tienda

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Mathias Sinning

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy

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Abstract

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 stratification 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 different 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 find is 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.

Keywords: status exchange, immigration, educational assortative mating

JEL Classification: F22, I24

Suggested Citation

Choi, Kate and Tienda, Marta and Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Sinning, Mathias, Immigration and Status Exchange in Australia and the United States. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5750. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1863072

Kate Choi (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

22 Chambers Street
Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

Marta Tienda

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
609-258-5808 (Phone)

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Mathias Sinning

Australian National University (ANU) - Crawford School of Public Policy ( email )

ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
J.G. Crawford Building, #132, Lennox Crossing
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.mathiassinning.com

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