Intergenerational Mobility of the Children of Mexican Immigrants: Converging to a Mainstream Differentiated by Gender and Region

Dowell Myers, University of Southern California
Julie Park, University of Maryland
Tomas Jimenez, Stanford University

Intergenerational mobility of the Mexican-origin population is viewed as advancement of children relative to parents or alternatively as degree of convergence to the mainstream. This paper assesses parents, children and the mainstream (proxied by white native born) at the same age (25 to 41, statistically adjusted to 35) in the 1980 census and 2003/05/07 CPS. A suite of 6 socioeconomic outcomes are evaluated separately for men and women. Analysis distinguishes residents in California and Texas, which account for two-thirds of all the second generation Mexican-Americans, and which offer different educational, earnings and housing opportunities. Tests of lifetime mobility into and out of these states reveal relatively closed second-generation populations and minimal selection effects except for the mainstream. Results find much greater advancement by women than men in education and earnings, with men lagging especially in Texas. Variation over time in the mainstream standard is important for enabling or denying convergence.

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Presented in Session 41: Immigrant Generations and Mobility