Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans
69 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012 Last revised: 20 Jun 2012
Date Written: August 2005
Using 1994-2003 CPS data, we study gender and assimilation of Mexican Americans. Sourcecountry 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 UnitedStates, immigrant women have a higher incidence of marriage (spouse present), higher fertility, andmuch lower labor supply than comparable white natives; wage differences are smaller than laborsupply differences, and smaller than comparable wage gaps for men. Immigrant women's laborsupply assimilates dramatically: the ceteris paribus immigrant shortfall is virtually eliminated aftertwenty years. While men experience moderate wage assimilation, evidence is mixed for women.Rising education in the second generation considerably reduces raw labor supply (especially forwomen) and wage gaps with nonhispanic whites. Female immigrants' high marriage rates assimilatetowards comparable natives', but immigrant women and men remain more likely to be married evenafter long residence. The remaining ceteris paribus marriage gap is eliminated in the secondgeneration. Immigrants' higher fertility does not assimilate toward the native level, and, while thesize of the Mexican American- white native fertility differential declines across generations, it is noteliminated.
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