Immigrant and Native Asset Accumulation in Housing

Sherrie Kossoudji, University of Michigan

Questions about immigrant asset accumulation have remained nearly unasked in the face of hundreds of articles about immigrant assimilation. Do immigrants acquire assets at the same rate and by the same determinants as do natives? In this paper I focus on asset differences between immigrants and natives by examining the acquisition of a single asset—one’s home. The findings in this paper indicate that immigrant and citizenship status are, themselves, not associated with the probability of homeownership, home value, and home equity, but work through critical age and income effects . These results have important economic as well as policy implications. Given that the distribution of wealth is much more unequal than that of income, homeownership is a particularly important vehicle for reducing wealth gaps and for considering immigrant assimilation.

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Presented in Session 166: Neighborhoods, Social Connectedness, and Immigrant Group Incorporation