Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans

Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn

NBER Working Paper No. 11512
Issued in August 2005
NBER Program(s):Children, Economics of Education, Labor Studies

Using 1994-2003 CPS data, we study gender and assimilation of Mexican Americans. Source

country 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 United

States, immigrant women have a higher incidence of marriage (spouse present), higher fertility, and

much lower labor supply than comparable white natives; wage differences are smaller than labor

supply differences, and smaller than comparable wage gaps for men. Immigrant women's labor

supply assimilates dramatically: the ceteris paribus immigrant shortfall is virtually eliminated after

twenty years. While men experience moderate wage assimilation, evidence is mixed for women.

Rising education in the second generation considerably reduces raw labor supply (especially for

women) and wage gaps with nonhispanic whites. Female immigrants' high marriage rates assimilate

towards comparable natives', but immigrant women and men remain more likely to be married even

after long residence. The remaining ceteris paribus marriage gap is eliminated in the second

generation. Immigrants' higher fertility does not assimilate toward the native level, and, while the

size of the Mexican American- white native fertility differential declines across generations, it is not


download in pdf format
   (321 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11512

Published: Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans , Francine D. Blau, Lawrence M. Kahn. in Mexican Immigration to the United States, Borjas. 2007

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Blau and Kahn Gender and Assimilation Among Mexican Americans
Lazear Mexican Assimilation in the United States
O'Neill and O'Neill w11240 What Do Wage Differentials Tell Us about Labor Market Discrimination?
Blau, Kahn, and Papps w14387 Gender, Source Country Characteristics and Labor Market Assimilation Among Immigrants: 1980-2000
Blau, Kahn, Liu, and Papps w14388 The Transmission of Women's Fertility, Human Capital and Work Orientation Across Immigrant Generations
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us